Photography: Expectations vs. Reality
Expectation versus reality comes up in many different types of work and niche. Photography and similar works are within those confines. If you're a photography hobbyist or a professional photographer that does it for a living, you know that there's such an amount of effort that goes into this skill.
When it comes to doing photography work for other clients, it's a relationship you want to build for them. Even if you're being kind and doing a quick photo session for a friend! It is no different. Both require time and the right amount of skillset to get the job done; that's if you want quality outcomes versus mediocre point & shoot expectations.
To a normal client or customer, they know it's a lot of work. That's why they pay you the big bucks to make it happen. Also, photography equipment is expensive and not your ordinary San Antonio resident can afford it, especially committing to use the camera (for example) on a regular daily basis to dictate the investment they put into the camera.
Let's start with the camera itself! Usually, cameras nowadays have automatic settings so any amateur photographer can just point-and-shoot to get the decent results they are looking for; however, clients want photos that are worth a thousand words. Before even taking a picture, photographers will have to know their equipment in-and-out to execute capturing any moment with perfect timing for any moment. Preparing for a photo shoot means dialing in the settings to make sure the camera performs how they imagine. Exposure, color-grading, color profiles, aperture, shutter speed, and many on-body settings have to work with each other just to pull off the right photoshoot. Professional photographers do this every day! So they know how to adjust the camera's settings on the fly while the client or customer is getting ready for the next shot. Efficiency is the name of the game for any photographer.
"Point-and-shoot and capture the image resulting in an amazingly produced photo."
"Wow, the sun is sure overexposing the subject, I must narrow down the f-stop and probably increase the shutter speed to compensate for the amount of light! Let me throw on an ND-filter and a polarizer so I can reduce some of this harsh glare. Let me position myself accordingly so the subject is well-lit with no weird shadows on her face. Alright, gotta get the composition right... shutter speed is fast enough so I can get a sharp non-blurry photo, and now I have to time it perfectly when she is giving me that candid smile." *Click, click, click* "Okay! It turns out pretty good, but I have another idea in mind! Let's change the position a bit and use a different backdrop."
Do you get where I'm going with this? Anyone can use a smartphone nowadays and take a decent picture, no doubt! But photographers step up their game to deliver the best quality photos possible. They have images of ideas firing in their head every second of a photoshoot. They want to impress their client with every session. It takes practice and repetition to pull off themed photoshoots, customized photoshoots, or anything in between.
That's a quick expectation vs. reality check for on-scene photoshoots for photographers and their clients. But how about post-processing and post-editing? What! Little do you know, many clients are satisfied with the outcome of the raw photos after a shoot, however, they didn't know photos would be edited in-house. Clients are not going to complain if they are told that the photos can be even better. So that's when the clients go home and the photographers get to work in their studio or workstation.
Fun fact! Post-editing is more time consuming and a more intricate process than the photoshoot itself!
The skillset that post-editing requires is in a whole different realm compared to taking pictures with a camera. Yes, they share common elements and aspects, however, the process of achieving those goals are based on experience and repetition.
While the clients are waiting patiently and having a beer or two out with their friends, photographers are working hard late at night (probably sipping on some whiskey to enhance creativity). Although pictures seem to turn out great during the photoshoot... and I bet they did, and the clients would perfectly accept them how they are... but there are things you cannot do at a photoshoot that you can achieve with post-editing.
As technology gets better, our photographers and editors adapt. They use an abundance of software and tools to make sure each photo turns out beautiful and up to expectation to give that "wow" factor. Some things a photographer might change during the post-editing phase would be exposure, sharpness, vignetting, skin and face smoothing, color enhancements, lens profile corrections, composition tweaking, filters, gradients, etc. The list goes on and on!
Now, every photographer is different. Some have different imaginations than others. That's why some people and clients prefer other photographers. That's normal. Everyone has a different style of liking. I might like washed-out photos, others might like high contrast looking photos. The options are endless. But yes, it takes time to get all of this down, for each photo... and sometimes a photographer can take several hundred to several thousand each photo session!
Batch editing is a thing many photographers do to speed up the process, however, it is not possible for every photo. There are intricate details and custom editing a photographer must do for each photo to get them perfectly how he wants it (or per client's request). This can take hours, even several days! That's why it's expensive sometimes when hiring a professional photographer. But! You get what you pay for. The clients will have these photos for the rest of their life! They now can do whatever they want with them: social media sharing, business resumes, and headshots, headshots for acting, wedding memories, gradation laughter... the list goes on and on.
Client - "The photos are great! Turned out perfect."
Photographer - "But wait, there's more!"
"These photos turned out amazing, however, I already have many ideas on how to make these even better. I can't get to go get these edited and give my clients even better photos they deserve. Time for a Red Bull. Going to be a long night."
Photographers are here to create memories for people or to create success for many. No matter the reason, everyone deserves the highest quality photos possible.
That's why here, our site "Photography San Antonio", we deliver those results with the best photographers we have. Our freelancers are normal people like you, however, they have drive and passion in this niche. They are willing to put in the work and let their skillset show results.
So the next time there's a photoshoot going on, just remember, there are many factors and moving pieces going into it to create masterpieces that people seem to bluff over. It's an intricate skillset a photographer has, and it pays for high-quality photos.
Are you an amateur photographer? Or a professional? Or maybe you're a customer or client?
What do you think of all of this? Pretty cool stuff, am I right? It's a great relationship that photographers and clients are building every day. We at Photography San Antonio believe everyone deserves amazing high-quality photos. Take a look around our site for the different services we provide! Not just portraits and headshots! Our photographers are skilled in many sub-niche of photography, and they're willing to grow and learn in the process.
As a photographer myself, I learn every day no matter how much I know. Photography is an ever-breathing skill. We all have to learn and adapt to different conditions and equipment to get the job done.
Thank you for your time to read this blog/article on the Expectation vs. Reality of Photography! And that was just two elements of the pie! Crazy!