Blog #97 Job Description: Photographer
You have just been hired! You have one job to do. Show up early, make stunning photos and deliver them in a timely manner to the client. That sounds all fine and good but the devil is in the details as they say. Woody Allen famously once said “80 percent of success in life is just showing up”. Obviously you need to show up and show up early. Here, I would like to discuss the remaining 20%.
You will need to be clear that you have what it takes to get the job done. Your gear [and backup gear] must all be fully functional and working - no excuses! Failure is not an option. Test your gear under various conditions, bring a back up body, lens, and multiple [charged and tested] batteries.
I use a Google Forms questionnaire to understand the clients needs so that I can be confident that I understand what they intend to get out of the shoot and I can give them what they need. I was asked once to make an image of a small group for a promotional brochure. After working with this group one sunny and hot afternoon under time pressures and outdoors, we came up with a few good images after the obligatory two-hours of post processing.
It was only then that the client said to me “Oh, yeah these are nice but we need a portrait image not a landscape”. Crikey! If I only knew that before! Fortunately they were able to work with one of the horizontal images that had enough on the sides to crop it for the intended usage. The image was sent to the printer before the deadline and the day was saved.
I got lucky there but learned by lesson. My questionnaire gives the opportunity to the client to describe what the images will be used for, if they need black and white, color, both, portrait, landscape orientation, both, images sizes, method of deliver such as online or flash drive, both, and more.
The old adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies even more so to photographers since we get one chance usually to get it right and that’s it.
We will not nail every shot or every photo shoot but we can decrease the chances of failure. It’s tricky stuff making awesome images for other people. It’s thrilling when you get it right. I’ll leave you with a quote…try to guess who said it
Luck favours the prepared, darling!
The light is always right.
*Images: JHG March 2018
Where: Temple Street, Jordan, Hong Kong
Subject: My two favourite ladies, my dear old mother Sheryl and lovey wife Christine. Gear: Minolta CLE, Leica 28mm f/2 lens and Kodak Ektar 100 Color 35mm film.