We’ve had a string of clients lately who have been a little less than notably enthusiastic when they’ve received their proofs or sneak peeks that we’ve posted. Some of the responses we’ve gotten have ranged anywhere from “Thanks, can’t wait to see the rest” to “Wow, these make me look fat”.
It’s not that we don’t appreciate candid reactions, self-deprecation, or enthusiasm to see more of our work, but I don’t know of anyone in any business that isn’t looking for a little feedback on the job they’ve done. It honestly doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad.
With a photographer, it’s an ego thing to be sure. We need to know that our initial vision not only delivered from our own artistic perspective, but that it was also well received by the people who matter most, our clients. We want that pat on the back of a job well done, a little slap on the ass with “good job slugger”. We not only need it, but we CRAVE it as artists. It’s what you hired us for.
There is of course the flip side. If we didn’t nail the shoot, and if you weren’t happy with the shots…as much as it will hurt, we need to know that as well.
We all see ourselves differently in the mirror. The older you get, the younger you still see yourself. This is great, and it’s ok sometimes to think you can still hang with the youngbloods from the office and drink all night like you did in your 20’s. Of course, you don’t feel anywhere close to normal for the entire week following, but hey, you had fun. It’s not so great when you expect to see that person in the pictures we just delivered. We will typically only do light retouching on images. We can soften lines, remove flyaways, zap that zit, etc. But if you’re looking to look 20 years younger, we can only do so much with lighting. However, if you’re not happy with your images because you’re 25 and we made you look 10 years older because we didn’t use the proper lighting set up we thought would work…we can do something about that!
I have a habit of keeping our clients updated in real time as we go through the shoot. Yes, most of the time I do it because most people don’t like the process of a photo shoot and I like to reassure them that they don’t look bad. But, I also do it for another reason…I want to make sure that we’re meeting their expectations of what the images should look like. If I’m on the wrong track, I want to make that course correction on-set as opposed to trying to fix it in post, or having to shoot it again!
So next time you hire a professional photographer for your corporate job, family portraits or headshots…throw ‘em a bone if you’re happy. Scratch them behind the ears and say, “Who did a good job? That’s right! You did. You’re such a good boy!”
And if you weren’t happy that’s ok too…we just ask that you don’t roll up a newspaper, hit us on the nose, and say “NO!”