I love what I do. From the shoot’s conception, to the first and last clicks of the shoot, to the hours and hours of sorting through hundreds of draft images to hone in on the ones that shine, to the meticulous and creative process that is professional photo enhancement and retouching, I love it all.
It’s hard work. Really time-consuming work. But it’s also really creative work – which I thrive on.
As a professional photographer, I have to work hard on developing a comfort level with charging accordingly so that owning my own business makes financial sense. It’s frustrating to add up all the time and expenses that go into a shoot to only realize you’ve made minimum wage or worse on the job.
So I put my faith in my clients and in our relationships. Have faith that they will respect my talent, my vision, and my significant investments in both quality equipment and time. Have faith that it will all balance out and pay off in the end. More often than not it does. But sometimes, it doesn’t. And not because the client isn’t pleased with the outcome, but because sometimes people decide not to play fair.
So, when I read this heartfelt blog on copyright by a talented Florida photographer, it hit home. In this digital age, it seems, lot of people think nothing of copying, scanning, screen capturing, making crude photoshop manipulations to, or removing watermarks from images shot by professional photographers. And while some may indeed knowingly steal these images with the intention of saving money, I do believe that most people are probably unaware that they are in fact stealing, that they are violating copyright laws and therefore, violating the trust between photographer and client.
Since I’ve had several challenges on this issue this past year, I’ve been considering different ways to change my process and how I do business. The best part is that these are changes I’d considered making in the interest of enhancing the customer service experience anyway: So, for starters, I will, from now on, play my part in informing those not in the know about copyright — each client will receive and be asked to sign receive a copyright notice with every print/album/wall art order; and going forward, clients will be notified ahead of time that the image selection process will take place immediately post-shoot, or in cases where a decision needs to be made with others, in person at my studio or in their home during an “artist selection presentation” which will take place on a date set before the client leaves the shoot.
I firmly believe these are changes that will benefit everyone as my overall goal is to deliver a highly customized, full-service experience. Clients can’t always conceptualize a range of great ways to display and incorporate photographic art into their lives. It’s my job to know that! And so, by making these changes, I will be able to play more of a consulting role in this regard. I’m excited about these changes and am confident they will not only attract new clients who value what I have to offer, but also deepen many of the existing relationships I already have with wonderful individuals and families.
Always looking forward to the wonderful things that lie ahead!
May your week be filled with beautiful things, little surprises, and everyday blessings that make life such a joy,