Thursday, July 11, 2024

Shooting business portraits on location

 

 

 

We do a lot of business profile portraits, and often we shoot these on location at clients’ offices. Perhaps because of previous experiences, or lack of experience(?), clients are often surprised when they see our set-up, and I am surprised that they are surprised. They express amazement that our set-up is so “professional”. On a side note it occurs to me that this may be why some people expect professional photography to cost less…but I digress.

 

So, I asked assistant Ashley Senja to take a snapshot of me working at a recent shoot and here’s what you can see (this would be a fairly typical profile portrait set-up for us):

 

1 Soft box light modifier (for flattering portrait lighting) mounted on a professional flash unit

 

2 Large, stable tripod, tall enough that I can still shoot from a high, flattering angle even if the subject stands up. The tripod also allows me the flexibility to be able to move away from the camera quickly and easily to interact closely with the client without having to then waste time picking the camera back up, repositioning and refocusing over and over.

 

3 Step ladder to go with the large tripod, so I can shoot from a high, flattering angle and mitigate things like double chins

 

4 Laptop to shoot into from the camera which is tethered to it, allowing us to review image captures and “star” selects (within the capture software)

 

5 External monitor to facilitate client review of image captures as we work together to ensure we have a winning shot (or shots) and to choose the best frame(s) for retouching -- we always recommended ensuring time for this step if time allows

 

6 Background (in this case a green screen to facilitate easy and effective background replacement during retouching…could alternatively be white or gray if background replacement is not required)

 

7 Reflector to brighten the unlit side of the face

 

8 Basic grooming kit including things like blotting papers, hair spray, chap stick, combs, toothpicks, eye glass cleaning wipes, etc.

 

And things you can’t see: the stool the subject is sitting on (we bring that), background light (which happens to be hidden under the table, pointed at the background), back-up camera, extra lenses, extra batteries, back-up lighting…all so that there is no way we will ever be stopped or delayed by equipment  breakage or malfunction…tools, fabric to covers windows or surfaces if necessary, cards and tape in case, for example, we have to cover up a pot light over a subject’s head that can’t be turned off, and other periodically useful things.

 

We never worry about natural, available light (or how that might be affected by weather)…we don’t need it. We never worry if the room is aesthetically pleasing…it doesn’t matter.

A hallmark of the professional photographer is that they can be counted on to consistently produce excellent results no matter the circumstances or the environment, and they can repeat their results in the future, regardless of different environment, timing, etc.   

 

I’ll also just note that I personally like to scout the location prior to the shoot date almost any time we shoot somewhere we haven’t been before, to make sure there are no surprises  for us the day of, and to ensure we have space to shoot conducive to best results, which is easier for me to determine in person than talking back and forth with organizers who might not understand the nuances of what will work best space-wise. I also like to know in advance where we are going to park etc. so we will never be scrambling with logistics on the day.

 

In summary, this is a version of the kind of set-up you should expect when hiring a professional. Here’s to less surprise, more expectation, greater understanding of the nature of and value of professional photography!

 

BTW you could have read this already if you receive my newsletter. If you’d like to sign up…

https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/sl/pykWM5A

 

 

#employeeappreciation, #corporatephotography, #corporateportraits, #authorportraits, #profileportraits, #bookcovers, #portraitphotography, #brandingphotography, #businesslifestylephotography

 

kathryn@hollinrake.com

holllinrake.com

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Why use green screen for business portraits?

I have written on this topic before but funnily enough even I sometimes feel a hint of trepidation as I suggest to clients that we shoot on green screen, because I am anticipating a negative reaction -- doubt that this is a route to high quality portraits, a preconception that it will look fake or bad (it will not) or will be too much trouble (it’s the opposite). I get it. I've seen the bad and obvious examples, too. But over and over I am reminded how hugely advantageous it is to shoot this way, and conversely how undermining it can be to shoot environmental portraits the “old, normal” way. So I am going to try again to summarize why green screen portrait photography is in many circumstances the superior way to go...if it is done well!


Just the other day I shot an environmental portrait in an office and ended up shooting the portrait the “old way”, which, of course, we used to do all the time…ie. the person is positioned in the environment and the portrait is created in camera. Had I used a green screen, I would have got essentially the same photo, except it would have been better, because I would have had the luxury of exposing and adjusting the background independently and as an added bonus I could have lit the subject from the other side (an artistic choice which wasn’t an option because there was no room for the light on that side). 


With environmental portraits the photographer always has the challenge of balancing the exposure of the background with the exposure of the person, and in this case, once I was back at the studio I wished the background had been a little lighter. Within one capture, had I exposed for a lighter background (ie. had more of the exposure coming from the ambient light) the subject would have appeared lighter too, and the windows in the background would have been too bright, so I erred on the side of caution because if you over expose (ie. “burn out”) highlights you are never getting them back.

 

An example of a bright window in the background overexposing the edge of a person’s hair; the edges are missing, never to be retrieved.

 
But can’t you do anything in Photoshop (other than retrieve lost highlights)? The short answer to this is always yes; where there’s a budget there’s a way. There are lots of softwares (Photoshop and various plug-ins) that purport to facilitate seamless background removal and replacement but in my experience they are nowhere near perfect…the edges are not consistently clean or accurate, especially if the background shares colours, tones and densities with the person…ie. there is not great separation between the subject and the background. And if the original background is dark and you want to replace it with a much lighter one, or vice versa this can be very problematic. With green screen however, specialized software specifically designed to remove all the green pixels works fantastically well 99% of the time, giving you huge freedom and control over what backgrounds you choose to use.

So what, specifically, are the advantages of shooting with green screen?:

- Independent control over the exposure of the background and subject

- Ability to incorporate backgrounds that it would be impractical to set up and shoot in front of…either due to lack of privacy, lack of space, or lack of availability on the shoot day

- No need to worry about the time, weather, or available light in a room on shoot day

- No need for a visually appealing room to shoot the portrait(s) 

- Control of where the subject is placed within the background frame, or where the background is placed behind the subject

- Control over the shape of the person, if, for example, the camera put on 10 lbs., or the subject is carrying a few extra not-their-usual-self lbs., or they lost weight and the suit looks too big, or the shoulder pads look too big, or the arms look a little bulgy, or the pants make the hips look wider than they are, or the hair isn’t quite the right shape, etc. I do subtle reshaping very, very frequently (often at the specific request of clients). 

 

When the person and the background are one photo and you want to change the shape of the person two possible options are: 1) you push over the edge of the person, understanding that the background goes with them, 2) you close-cut the person (ie. cut them out and make a separate layer out of them), so you can change their shape as you wish, understanding you then have to recreate (clone) what you would have seen behind them that was missing from the original photo because it was obscured by the body. Unless you were fortunate enough to have shot a plate shot for each subject (ie. a shot of the background without the person which requires a camera locked in position on a tripod) which does help a lot (although it doesn’t help with the exposure situation mentioned above). Either way it’s a lot of work that clients don’t generally expect to be paying for and that would have been much simpler with a green screen.

These three sets of images (above and below) illustrate one of the most useful benefits of shooting with green screen, and that is the ability to do shape adjustments without creating adverse effects in the background.


- Flexibility in terms of backgrounds (ie. you are not stuck with the environment you shot in…you can easily repurpose/refresh an image, and have more than one option for an image…eg. a white and environmental background versions of one portrait)

- Facilitates future photography of new team members such that their portraits perfectly match sets of previously created ones, regardless of when or where you shoot

- Highly efficient method for producing a varied set of photos…ie. one green screen set to shoot multiple poses and crops, and a few extra minutes to find and shoot potential backgrounds in and around the office (assuming an office has visually appealing spots available…if not then photographer’s archive or stock photo backgrounds may be used). As opposed to having to set-up over and over in different spots around the office which no busy executive is going to have the time for.

- And here’s where it gets harder to explain but stay with me…green screens also let you cheat, so you can get more aesthetically pleasing results due to the flexibility the photographer has with camera angle in front of a green screen. For example, a higher camera angle (looking down on the subject) is known, generally, to be more flattering…there will be no visual cues to the viewer that the camera angle was high…the subject will just look better. In an environmental setting we are often limited to more straight-across camera angles so as to avoid perspective distortion of vertical lines in the background. This also limits placement of the elements in the background relative to the person…plus, people move. If we’ve shot the person and backdrop separately we can position the person exactly where we want them against the background, whereas if you are capturing the whole image in camera, the photographer has less control over the exact position of the person, not to mention the differences that will occur when shooting multiple people of different heights and shapes in front of that background. 

I illustrated some of what I’m writing about in a blog post a while ago: https://khollinrakemakemepretty.blogspot.com/2021/04/why-i-love-shooting-portraits-against.html

The only good reasons to shoot a head and shoulders or standing torso* portrait in the actual environment are if there is no post-production budget at all and you are expecting images to be ready to go as shot, which may be the case with “lifestyle” photos for image libraries but will pretty much never be the case for executive and leadership portraits. (*Where green screens would not be recommended is in circumstances where the person is interacting with the environment…eg. sitting in a chair, sitting at a desk, leaning on a wall, etc., or when the number of people requiring portraits is greater than about fifteen, because the t
ime and care required to make them look varied and individual, ie. not cookie cutter and fake, becomes prohibitive.)

I shoot many portraits on green screens. I love the flexibility, control and creativity this technique affords me. It gives me so many more options in terms of being able to create just the right overall look for any portrait depending on the client’s brand and particular needs. I can tailor the background to the person’s look, what they’re wearing, what we feel is appropriate and what will really make their portrait sing.

I hope this helps! If there is anything worrying you about shooting this way that I haven't addressed please let me know.


hollinrake.com
kathryn@hollinrake.com
 
 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

How to get the glare out of glasses on video calls

 

How many people wear reading glasses on video calls? More and more it seems. How’s it working? Based on my observations, often not well. So what’s the problem? The problem is that if there are noticeable reflections in your glasses then people can’t see your eyes, at least not clearly. And that’s a problem because for sighted people the eyes play a huge part in our communication. Seeing eye to eye, literally, is key to achieving a sense of connection. Video call technologies create so many barriers to clear and effective communication and to true connection. We owe it to ourselves to mitigate those barriers as well as we possibly can, so our message is not compromised or lost. Eyeglass glare is one thing we can definitely fix.

 

The main reason for the computer-screen-in-the-eyeglass lenses-phenomenon is that the main source of illumination for your face is your computer screen. In my sample screen grab I wore my husband’s huge glasses and dimmed the light in the room to illustrate a worst case scenario, a scenario unfortunately not all that uncommon. Maybe it’s after dark so you have no available daylight, and the only light in the room is a ceiling fixture above and behind you, or something like that. So the brightest light hitting your face is coming from your computer screen.

 

Yes, your webcam can pick up your face with just the light from your screen, but it’s

having to work really hard to make your face look properly exposed, and sacrifices to image quality are inevitable. The less light on you and your face the more grainy and blurry you look.

 

What’s the solution? Light! And not just any light…it must be brighter light than the light coming from your monitor.

 

In my diagram, I’m using an 18 inch ring light. You don’t have to use a ring light. You do have to position whatever light you have above your face shining down so the angle of reflection doesn’t include your glasses. The advantage of a large ring light is that it still illuminates you evenly when placed at a bit of a distance from your face. The smaller the light source, the less flattering the light will look, and the less effective it will be.

 

Notice how sharp the screen grab is with the ring light. The web cam was happy.

 

For more tips on showing up powerfully on video calls presence I invite you to check out the videos on my website. Or get in touch for a private consult so I can see what you’re doing and help you make it better. People want to see you!

 

And of course, photography. Anyone who knows me knows that’s what I really do. Let’s have a video call to chat about your next project…just make sure to light up your lovely face! 

 

#corporatephotography, #corporateportraits, #authorportraits, #profileportraits, #bookcovers, #portraitphotography

 

kathryn@hollinrake.com

hollinrake.com

Monday, January 15, 2024

Make-up for profile portraits: make-up artist or AI?


 

Left: no make-up, Middle: actual make-up done by me, Right: the no make-up photo with AI make-up
 

A little while ago I started using a new Photoshop portrait retouching plug-in that uses AI and greatly enhances my ability to finish portraits. It is getting so sophisticated with each update that I wondered if I might now actually be able to do full make-up from scratch in retouching. Photoshop has always made that possible but the time and skill required made it prohibitively expensive in any practical sense. But now, I wondered, so I did a test.

 

Let’s compare my photos:

 

#1 No make-up at all.

 

#2 I did my make-up, maybe not as well as a make-up artist would do it, but I’m comfortable doing my own make-up; as a photographer I know what I need, so it’s fine for demo purposes. I would normally retouch a photo at least somewhat, even with make-up done, so there are a few distracting spots I would normally smooth out but I’m leaving them in for the purposes of this experiment. (I will also mention that these days more and more clients, and I myself, are desiring more authentic photos that show our “earned wrinkles”. There’s a balance to strike.)

 

#3 AI. This is photo #1 with AI make-up only. I was careful not to overdo it, trying to make it match the real make-up as closely as possible, within the still somewhat limited choices it provides for each element (ie, 8 eye shadow colours/shapes, 6 eye brow shapes...no colour choices…just density control, etc.). One problem is that I was very slightly smiling in #2 so I think the deadpan expression in #1 makes it look creepier than it would. Funnily enough I think the AI did a better job of the eye brows than I did! I know one of my trusted make-up artists would have done better.

 

I notice the AI softens everything just a little so even keeping it light it still looks slightly (over-?) retouched even though all I was really trying to do was add make-up.

 

But to be honest I am pretty impressed. Nevertheless…

 

Would I soon be advising clients not to hire a Hair and Make-up artist? To be clear, not all of my clients do anyway…many do their own make-up if they wear make-up at all. But here’s what I realized…there is one HUGE benefit to hiring a professional and that is that how you feel is going affect how you look. In other words…if you look in the mirror and see the most well-rested, clear skinned, healthy, vibrant version of yourself, you are half way to showing up that way on camera.

 

 Think of actors who find and become their characters thanks in part to their hair and make-up and wardrobe. See it and be it!

 

And, with a make-up artist you can let them know in real time if you are liking the look… bit more, bit less, darker, lighter, different colour, etc., before and as you shoot. Whereas if you leave it to post-production, the photographer/retoucher is going to have to guess what you’ll like. Imagine going back and forth over multiple e-mails or calls trying to land in the right place. That is not going to work for anyone.

 

And of course, AI can’t do hair. Yet.

 

In summary, I recommend that you hire the make-up artist.

 

BTW a little side note/bonus tip. Anyone who has seen my portrait Tips posts will probably have seen me in this top before. Why do I keep coming back to it for my business photo examples? It fits really well, does not wrinkle or bunch, has a bit of a funky detail so it’s not totally boring and hints at my artistic side, but is, overall, neutral and simple, so it doesn’t distract viewers from the face which is what we want viewers to focus on. And FYI I would never actually wear this thing anywhere because if you see the whole garment on me it looks awful. It’s for photos only. So, remember to consider wardrobe you may have that, from the waste up, would be photo perfect. 

 

kathryn@hollinrake.com

hollinrake.com

corporateportraits.ca




Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Revisiting Tip #19 from my tips on how to prepare for and get the most out of your next business portrait session: Glasses

 

Left: more reflective lenses, no good in this position. Right: less glare-prone glasses.

 

I have been a glasses wearer for years and, as such, feel I don’t really look like myself in a photo unless I am wearing glasses.

 

I am also seeing more and more people who wear glasses at photo shoots, and just as I want to wear my glasses in my profile pics I expect to photograph other wearers authentically bespectacled as well. However, as I’m sure you know, glasses can cause problems with reflections in the lenses, some more than others.  

 

Recently I lucked out and got a great deal on two new pairs. Time for a new profile pic!

 

Right away I noticed that the lenses in one of them seemed to catch the light all around me way more than the other ones. Every time I saw myself in a mirror with pair #1 I could see lights reflecting in them. The other ones didn’t seem to do that.

 

Sure enough as soon as I went to photograph myself (I get to do this; I’m a pro 😊 ) I confirmed that if I held my head a certain way the lenses reflected the light, partially obscuring my eyes, and creating a distracting retouching nightmare (if I were to actually shoot that way). This is something we ALWAYS want to try to avoid. When this happens, we are, right away, limited in terms of head position and to some extent full self-expression because we have to angle away from the light. Photographers can also angle lights so they are less prone to hit lenses, but that is limiting is other ways. (Note that I lit these shots in my high-ceilinged studio to mitigate glare; I could never have fit this set-up in an office downtown, and it didn’t fully solve the problem anyway.)

 

Of course, wouldn’t you know, of my two new pairs of specs my favourite ones are the ones that are the bad reflectors. Another suboptimal-for-photos  thing about them is that they tend to sit low on the bridge of my nose, meaning it’s hard to achieve a flattering head-relative-to- camera angle that doesn’t result in the upper part of the frame bisecting my eyes.

 

So I did try pair #2 (photo right), and they were much less reflective, but I just don’t love them.

 

What is the upshot here? For me, with the luxury of having two pairs of glasses to choose from, I can consider the pros and cons of each and pick the lesser of two evils. (Some non-glare lenses don’t reflect light at all which makes them a delight to shoot…if you never notice lights reflecting in them you may have these and if so, yay you!). Of my two new pairs I really prefer the ones that are harder to shoot, so those are my choice for my new profile pics…too bad for the photographer and for the subject (ha-ha)…I understand the draw backs, and I am willing to work with it.  

 

My advice to you, my fellow glasses wearers, is to remember that eye wear can impact photography, and to bring more than one pair to your shoot if you have them, and see what happens. It may really help to have an option or two. But don’t wear ones you hate, because then you’ll probably hate the photos.

 

If you follow me you may have seen a version of this tip before. Here's the link: 

http://khollinrakemakemepretty.blogspot.com/2022/04/30-tips-to-help-you-prepare-for-your.html

 

Hope this helps! 

kathryn@hollinrake.com 

hollinrake.com

Thursday, October 12, 2023

How do I know when it's time for a new profile pic?

 

When is it time to get a new profile portrait? I answered this question in the comments under a LinkedIn post just a few weeks ago but thought it may be helpful to write a more considered response here. If you Google that question you'll see lots of answers from other photographers and branding gurus, so you don’t really need me, but I'm happy to chime in, and I can start with an example from personal experience.

 

In 2021 I did a personal branding self-portrait (above) ostensibly of me shooting a portrait. About a year ago I changed my hair style to a much shorter one. I was also reminded every time I saw my profile pic not only how red my hair looks in photos (this is not uncommon with hair that has even a hint of red), but how much my natural red has actually faded.

 

I still really liked the concept of my photo which was still relevant, but it was jarring to see an old self that no longer looked like me every time I logged onto LinkedIn. Beyond my hair losing some of its colour my face had also continued to age, as they do! If it was jarring for me I imagined how surprised people would be when they saw me IRL, not a great way to start a business (or any other) relationship.

 

 

So I needed to redo this shot. For one thing, I felt that it would serve me to be more intentional about the background, ie. to use one more in keeping with the environments in which I often shoot (corporate offices). I also tend to photograph younger than I am (not just my hair) so I really had to hold back on the retouching and leave in some of the wrinkles that I've "earned", as a client recently put it when she wanted me to put back her wrinkles (which I'd slightly over-zealously softened).

 


So tip #1...if you feel jarred every time you see your own photo it’s probably time for an update. 

 

Here's is my possibly slightly repetitive 7 point list of reasons to get a new photo:


  • You look different now.   
  • Your profile pic looks dated (last season's colour palette, or maybe your hair style or wardrobe scream "not current!"). The general recommendation is to update at intervals anywhere from 2 years to 3 to 5, with the caveat that any significant change warrants a new profile pic ASAP.
  • Your current shot is not working for you – eg. you’re trying to attract clients and your photo is not helping, maybe because it is not depicting the you you want them to see, or that they want to see. You might look very pretty/cute /handsome but not be exuding a “You can trust me in business” vibe.
  • You just don’t like your current pic…I can hear the chorus of “I never like myself in photos!” and I get it, but, realistically, is your photo not showing you in your best light, so to speak? Did you never really love that photo of yourself in the first place, or you did, but you just don't look like that anymore? Either way, time to refresh!
  • Your current pic does not reflect the professional that you are…maybe you used a shot that was OK because you needed SOMETHING, but it’s glaringly obviously not a professional quality photo, eg. you’ve cropped your head out of a shot with other people in it, lighting is bad, wardrobe is inappropriate, expression is inappropriate, photo is dark, blurry or grainy, etc., none of which suggests you care about how you show up (wherever you've posted that photo).
  • You are in a new phase of your professional journey. We are all growing (hopefully) all the time, in business and life. A business portrait broadcasts your brand to the world and should reflect and represent each new and improved iteration of yourself. 
  • You need a consistent set of branding images for multiple uses and you only have one (which you are so sick of using over and over again!), or ones that have been created in a piecemeal way.

 

If you don't have an up-to-date, relevant, and appropriate professional looking profile portrait I'd ask you to consider what it might be costing you. Make sure you are not undermining yourself with your photo. Bolster your confidence, and support your professional self...look good (in your photo), feel good (knowing you've got a great full time first impression generator working for you)!

 

Let me know if I can help.

 

kathryn@hollinrake.com

hollinrake.com


Thursday, August 17, 2023

Getting a quote for business profile portraits (aka headshots) - a checklist

 

 

I’ve got to admit I used to hate it when companies started running back to school ads not even half way through summer, and I didn’t want to be that killjoy, so I’ve dawdled just long enough to still give you time to start planning if you have to organize one or more profile portraits for the fall get-back-to-serious-work-and gear-up-for-a-successful-fourth-quarter season.

 

Regardless of the time of year, if you need to get a quote for business profile portraits (aka headshots, a catch-all term which anyone who knows me knows I avoid… this checklist is a big part of the reason for that) there are some things it will help you and the quoting photographer(s) to know in order for them to quote efficiently and accurately, because photography is not a one size fits all proposition.

 

1)    First off, just to get this out of the way, is there a specific date or dates on which you need to shoot? If so this would be the first point to cover as there’s no point getting an estimate from a photographer who is not available when you need them.

 

2)    What is/are the photos for? For example, if for a website is there a designer and/or layout into which the photos have to fit that will be dictating the number, shape, size and look of the image(s)? Do the images have to match a previously existing set of portraits?

 

3)    How many people are to be photographed?

 

4)    Do you need head and shoulders, torso or full length shots? This could impact the time and space needed to achieve them.

 

5)    Is the subject or are the subjects executive level or support staff level? This could affect the amount of time and the budget you’ll want to dedicate to the shoot. For example, an executive portrait might be scheduled for a 30 minute on-site session which would allow that executive time to review images and make selects during the shoot (which, by the way, can be much more efficient and less work for the organizer of multiple portraits who otherwise may be tasked with managing the selection process  - ie. sending contacts to individuals, getting them to respond with selects, and forwarding the list to the photographer, etc.). In another example, if there is a team of support staff (which could involve anywhere from 5 to 100 or more people) requiring photos the shoot and individual session duration, logistics, and cost, would necessarily be very different.

 

6)    Further to #5 how much time do you have for this shoot, on an individual basis or for the whole shoot if it’s for multiple individuals? Keep in mind that more time will generally be more conducive to great photos. It’s not about a photographer being able to shoot fast, it’s about making sure you put aside enough time to make the whole exercise worthwhile…a more relaxed, not-rushed experience will generally result in better pictures.

 

7)    If there are a number of individuals to be photographed do you also need a group shot or shots of them?

 

8)    What kind of background do you want? For example, do you want a fairly simple, clean seamless, or do you want an environmental background? If environmental do you have somewhere suitable (aesthetically pleasing, adequately spacious) for the shoot, or does an off-site location need to be found and arranged? Or can we use digital backgrounds?

 

9)    In tandem with question 8, if shooting on location is not a necessity for aesthetic or logistical reasons, would you prefer the photographer to come to you, or for you or the subject(s) to come to the photographer’s studio? In my case if we come to you, you save travel time but incur additional costs such as that of an assistant (who I hire only for location shoots). There are other considerations re shooting in studio vs. on location which you can discuss with your photographer, as these will vary depending on the photographer and your circumstances and needs.

 

10)  Will you want a hair and make-up artist? Sometimes this is a very good idea and sometimes it’s less necessary. It’s something to consider. (Talk to the photographer.)

 

11)  How many final files do you want? Meaning, how many high res, retouched images? Every photographer will do this a bit differently. In my case I have a flat rate for a basic portrait retouch, per individual image and I only release high res files once they are touched up, because having unretouched high res portraits out in the world will serve nobody. (This issue of retouching, whether to do it, how much to do it, etc. is for another post, but the thing about high detail, professionally shot images is that they tend to render detail to an extent beyond which the human eyes perceives those details IRL(not necessarily a good thing). So in my opinion some level of retouching is a must.)

 

 

When you reach out to a photographer for a quote it will help the process tremendously if you have an idea of the answers to these ten+ questions or are at least open to discussing them. Which brings me to one of my biggest tips…talk to your (potential) photographer. They can help you figure out the best way forward and I’d assert it’s way more efficient to have a conversation than to e-mail back and forth at this initial stage, especially when for many seeking quotes the language and logistics of photography are not necessarily familiar. Professional photographers are problem solvers and we have the experience to guide you through the whole process of organizing a shoot. 

 

As for the quotes you receive, keep in mind that if a photographer seems really cheap or really expensive there’s going to be a reason for that. They are doing, or not doing, something different. Assume photographers are not charging wildly disparate rates for the exact same thing. And watch out for false economies like quantity over quality.

 

Finally, a request on behalf of all providers of proposals, assuming you did actually ask them to quote:  get back to the quoters as to why they did or didn’t get the job. It’s the nice, courteous, professional and right thing to do and it will better serve everyone involved, in the long run. It’s impossible, for anyone, to function effectively in a vacuum.

 

(If you need more convincing that getting back to quoters is the right thing to do there’s this: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/kathrynhollinrake_why-ghosting-is-harmful-to-your-reputation-activity-7025967576300085248-EVI_/?originalSubdomain=mu  )

 

Good luck organizing your next shoot! Let me know if I can help.

 

kathryn@hollinrake.com

hollinrake.com