So you've booked a shoot, had your photos taken, and LOVE your pictures (of course you do/will!), but some people might ask themselves, "Why did that cost so much? I was only there an hour!" or "I remember doing this pose, why didn't I get it?" or maybe even just wondering "What goes on behind the scenes?". There is ALOT of effort that photographers make on your behalf even when we aren't physically with you snapping photos. Maybe I can help to the answer some of your questions! This is my standard routine...
Before the Shoot
1) After making your appointment and getting the required documents back from you (for some photographers, this can even be a daunting task), even if I feel comfortable enough with posing, lighting, and camera settings, I always Google photos for the type of session you are booked for and ask you to do the same and to send me your faves too. Why? Just to get a visual and make sure I don't miss out on any photo ops, and to see if any new postings will give me a idea of how I can make your pictures more unique and the best they can be in your particular situation! I also want to gauge your expectations and try to use any poses that you may like to better your experience.
2) I then evaluate and gather up all the equipment I may need for your specific shoot and location. Every shoot is different and this can be very time consuming especially for indoor photos as more equipment is usually required and I have to determine lighting and other needs. I also determine plans for traveling to our destination based on the chosen location.
During the Shoot
3) I travel to you and photograph you and your lovely family and/or friends for the time allotted for you. This is one of the fun parts, where myself and the clients get to have fun and be creative! We collectively work together to create both candid shots and posed ones to get the best out of our time together. It can also be challenging in some situations with lighting and uncooperating children and I also have to remember all those photos I looked for on Google!
After the Shoot
This is where a good portion of my work comes into play, but I am sure the amount of time spent on your images after your shoot will vary from photographer to photographer. It is also one of the most fun parts for me as I get to edit your images, make any products or prints that you desire with even more creativity, and make sure you get the very best of customer service. Many people do not realize the work that goes into a photography session after the photos are taken. This is also where most of my time is spent during the duration of my contract with a client, making sure that their photos and prints/products come out wonderfully.
4) Most photographers do not just go out and take the perfect portraits the first time around and need some minor guidance with the help of Photoshop. There are many factors that come into play, such as lighting and the cooperation of those individuals being photographed, etc.
After your shoot, there is a good amount of editing that I do. Not necessarily because the photos I took are bad, but in some cases I must fix any lighting and other minor cosmetic issues. I also alter photos to make them more creative and customized to you! I spend HOURS if not DAYS, depending on the length of the shoot, doing basic edits and adding filters to my photos so that you have several to choose from as everyone has individual tastes.
5) After editing, I order any products or prints that you have specified. This can be time consuming too because everything has to be perfectly layed in my lab's software to my specifications and to your desires, but it will be PERFECT!
6) You wait for your images, prints, and products to be delivered to you (in some cases I may ship to you or you will receive your products from a third party vendor)! I will always deliver your digital images to you myself after downloading to a particular site or through email. Please note that time frames for receiving different products can vary.
If you don't get a photo that you remember taking as a specific pose, it's because it didn't turn out to my liking and I could not better it through editing. This happens as none of us are perfect and able to control every factor in our lives. I try to take extra measure to take photos under different conditions for the "just in case", but sometimes even that fails (this happens to every photographer at some point!).
Please also remember that photographers can only do so much for you and be realistic if you feel the need to complain afterwards. In most cases, we will do whatever we can to make your shoot and products/prints exceed your expectations, but we cannot control the "I look fat." or "My kids were acting up." factors when it comes to photographing.
7) After getting all of your pre-ordered products and images/prints delivered to you, you may have decided to order more or have a problem. I take care of these issues for the client too as long as long as they are reasonable and doable! Most photographer/client relationships last way longer then all of these steps and we want to make your experience the best it can be, but sometimes other needs and problems do unexpectantly arise.
I hope this post has answered some of your questions! As you can tell, a photographers job is not done after making your appointment and taking some photos of you. There is a lot of thought, planning, and overall time spent making your session and images/products as close to perfect as they can be. The money you spend for a photographer's time will be the best you ever spent considering all factors, and we work to please!