Yesterday I wrote a blog post that was rapidly shared on Facebook ... at the time I am writing this it's been shared 101 times and the post is about downloading and organizing images you receive for your portfolio from photographers. One of my favorite things to do is read the comments (good, bad, and ugly) about posts I write. No surprise here: photographers LOVED this post - thought it was great ... non-photographers, or as I like to call them: the creators of details and pretty things didn't not like it, but they did have some justifiable comments to share:
- I do email using something similar to the template here and patiently wait and sometimes I never hear back!
- I hired a photographer to come and capture the details for me to avoid all this and they sent me 10 low-res images and I never heard from them again.
- Without my details they wouldn't have anything to take photos of and I work hard to get all my shoots featured and it's still impossible to get copies of the images!
- When a photographer refuses to send me photos of the work I designed - even if they are AMAZING - I will never refer them again.
The list goes on ... Photographers I have one question for you:
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOU SHOWED UP FOR A SHOOT YOU HAD COMMITTED TO PHOTOGRAPHING AND NONE OF THE DETAILS WERE THERE? THERE WAS NOTHING TO SHOOT.
^^ I realize that's probably happened to you at some point - I know that shoots get canceled, but then you just don't photograph them ... but in a wonky world where you still had to do your job, what would you do in this scenario? Would you take photos of an empty table and rally anyway? My point, which I am making very poorly is:
IT TAKES A RECIPE TO CREATE A SHOOT AND A PHOTOGRAPHER IS ONE OF THE INGREDIENTS
I'll repeat: you are ONE of the ingredients ... without a beautiful bouquet you have no bouquet shot - without amazing linens the table will be bare - without a gorgeous model and a kick-ass HAM team .... well, you get my point. You all need each other! They don't have photos without you ... you are VERY IMPORTANT ... you're like the flour! You're a TOP TOP TOP ingredient - but you are still just one of them. Nobody wants to just eat flour ;)
So my question is: why are SO MANY creators of the pretty things out there complaining that they never get an email back! That you take images of their work and then refuse to comment back about getting them copies?
If you aren't going to send them images at least email them back and say: NO << own it! If you are SUPER SUPER busy to the point where you truly can't answer an email within a week (which I completely understand busy!) then maybe you should have an auto-responder on all the time that tells vendors that they need to contact you in the 'off season' or something ... or: maybe on the day of the shoot you should be setting up better expectations about getting images.
All I know is that there is a divide right now - and for the photographers who aren't team players and don't get images to their team EVER or they just IGNORE EMAILS all together?? It looks like the referrals are going to start drying up for you ...
Here is a proposed plan for this problem:
Photographers: create a word doc that explains expectations for getting images - your 'work flow' so that the rest of the professionals at the wedding are told upfront about this - or it could even be a page on your website that they visit that has it all laid out - something like this:
We understand how excited everyone is to receive images from the wedding or styled shoot we all worked on together! We're excited to see them too! The images will be ready in 4-7 weeks from the day the wedding or styled shoot happened - in some very special circumstances we may rush them, but you will have been told prior to the shoot if that was going to happen. Please submit your email to the form below so you will be automatically notified when the images are ready for downloading. If you don't submit your email here then you will not be notified! At the time the images are completed you will receive a link to download them.
^^ this is simply an idea ... I realize it may take some work on your end, but having all the participants submit their email in order to be updated on the images puts some of the responsibility on them. You could collect emails via Mailchimp and then send out a newsletter with a link when the images are ready. This plan isn't perfect, but if you are a photographer who feels swamped and buried and the last thing you want to do is send images to vendors, this may be a good solution so they don't feel like you are ignoring them.
And, hopefully it's obvious, but I'm not talking to everyone in this post ... but because of the LONG LIST of comments across FB about photographers who never share images with the team or just never respond to an email, I felt the other side was worth talking about ;)
You can read the post from yesterday HERE.