You know what I love? That when I look around at photographers around me, whether they’re friends, acquaintances, or artists whose work I’ve simply viewed online, that they’re all different. I love that. I like that someone can love multiple people’s work even though the work may look worlds apart in style and skill. I was watching a video this morning about a photographer getting sued by his client over wedding photos and I felt gross for the photographer. I can’t imagine being in his position. I pour my heart into my sessions and, really, (aside from contractual obligations) that’s all a photographer can really guarantee. I guarantee that I love photography more and more each day. I guarantee that I’m trying my hardest to get the best photos I possibly can at each and every session/wedding. There are so many factors that affect photos: sun, clouds, shadows, weather, people, personalities, etc, etc, etc. I can’t guarantee how any of those things will be on any given day but at least I can give it my all!
Being part of different forums for photographers (mostly on facebook) I get to see and hear a lot of what clients don’t get to see and hear. I’ve felt the joy of a photographer who said that her clients were so happy with their photos that they wept. I’ve felt the hurt of a photographer who was ripped to shreds by a client who was unhappy with her photos despite the fact that the photos were COMPLETELY on par with that photographer’s portfolio. I’ve felt the tears of numerous photographers who have felt pressure to give discounts and deals to demanding clients whilst the photographer’s themselves are struggling to pay their rent and buy food for their kids. I’ve cringed at the hurt a photographer felt when another photographer criticized the first photographer’s work and pointed out their flaws without an invite for constructive criticism. I’ve felt frustrated for photographers whose clients have complained that the photographer did a bad job because they captured the client’s wrinkled clothes, tan lines, and double chins.
May I speak for photographers and just say that each and every one of us are on a never-ending journey of learning. Sure the photographer who has been shooting for 20 years will likely know more (and charge more) than photographers like me who have been working in the field for significantly less time. There are ways to lessen things like double chins in photos by getting clients to pose in certain ways that I didn’t know about a year ago. A year from now I’ll probably learn a new trick and then probably another a year after that (haven’t learned yet how to iron an un-ironed shirt by posing yet, but I’ll let you know). Bottom line is I promise, we’re doing our best. And we’re all different (thank goodness for that, right?!).