Knowing Better

I really need to write a rule book of how to be professional.  For the most part, almost everyone I work with is super cool, no major ego problems and my sessions go off without a hitch.  But there is always that one person every so often who just needs a good swift kick in the ass.  Here are some basic pointers to potential clients.

First, the customer is not always right.  Honestly, there are some crazy people out there who will never be satisfied with anything…. ever!  Next, I don’t care how much money you think you’re spending, this is not a free pass to walk all over everyone else who is involved.  You cannot pay me enough money to have me let you treat me like crap.  I’m not your servant, I’m not your whipping boy, and I’m still above you on the totem pole.  Otherwise you wouldn’t have hired me in the first place.  Just ponder that one for a little bit.

Honestly, I love my clients and 99% of the people I photograph.  They often have the same attitude about life that I do, which makes things very easy on set!  I love being able to laugh, have fun and have a completely relaxed atmosphere without anyone bringing the vibe down.  It is that 1% that can drive me up a wall.  It is usually someone who thinks they are a creative director yet they have absolutely no idea how a photograph happens.  They have no idea about lighting, no idea about make up or hair, no idea about composition and absolutely no idea how to deal with people!

Yes, I work with a lot of models, but here is something that not everyone knows about models.  They are regular people just like the rest of us.  Here is the difference, they are in front of the camera, they are the face and the image of the product.  If you come in and start criticizing them it will show in the final product.  I had one “art director” (self-proclaimed) start telling a model how she was a little too wide, and then telling another that her skin wasn’t so great.  I had to pull this person outside of my studio to let them know that they were behaving in a completely unprofessional way.  And this is the representative of the company who hired me to shoot for them!  I then had to rebuild this model’s own self-confidence and fast!  It was easy for me to do this simply because she was nothing that this “art director” said she was.  But still, really?  Some people just have to tear someone down to make themselves look better.  All this did was jeopardize their own company’s shoot.

This is why I say it is important to work with professional photographers.  It is not just our portfolio you should be looking at, it is not just going with the lowest bidder.  It is finding someone who knows how to work with people and how to get the job done right the first time.  And if something does go wrong, you need someone who knows how to fix it and fix it fast!  These are just a few things to think about when bidding jobs, when getting hired or if you are the one doing the hiring.

Here is one from yesterday’s shoot in Malibu.  This was my 2nd shoot with Hannah, can’t wait for #3!

Hannah by The Average Jim