This is a subject of much frustration within the photography industry. So, I thought it deserved a little blog space.
In the era of the smart phone, pretty much everybody other than my nan has a phone with a camera on it. So, when you’ve taken the time to turn up to a shoot, scout the best location, find the best light, get your models in place and adjust your camera settings accordingly, having a well-meaning Mum snapping away, over your shoulder, with her I-Phone might be incredibly infuriating.
So what do you do about it?
My answer; Let her carry on.
What we do, as equine or portrait photographers, is a little different than wedding photography or event photography, where phone pics can be incredibly detrimental.
In event photography, the client might not bother purchasing your image if they think they’ve got a good’n with their phone. And at a wedding, you don’t want all members of the wedding party looking in different directions, while Aunt Doris and Uncle Bob try to get their attention for their own photos. So, I agree that, in these cases, perhaps politely asking these self-appointed photographers if they wouldn’t mind waiting until you’ve done the job you’re being paid to do, might be best. Give them their time to take their photos, either before or after you’ve done your bit.
But, as portrait photographers, does it really matter if Mum gets some photos on her phone? I don’t think it does.
Firstly, it will actually work in your favour, as, without blowing your own trumpets, it’s only going to highlight why they hired you in the first place! Because there’s no way that Mum’s phone piccies are going to be anywhere near as good as your end result. (And if they are, maybe either you or she need to have a career rethink. 😉 )
Secondly, a lot of the time, I actually avoid having my clients look straight at my camera lens. I welcome it when I have a family member standing just behind me, teasing my client, making them laugh and react. I try and interact with both my client and their family member/friend at the same time, creating a three way conversation and I find that having somebody they know there will often help put your client at ease, quicker. It really helps draw true, natural emotion from the model when they are chatting and laughing with somebody familiar.
And thirdly, it adds to the hype on social media and acts as a behind the scenes teaser. When your clients put their phone snaps up, saying ‘Had a great photoshoot today, can’t wait to see the professional pics’, their friends will all be primed and ready to see how you’ve worked your magic.
As an added bonus, you could ask her to get you in some of her shots, too. Real time, behind the scenes pictures, of you doing your thing, are great for social media use!
So, if a mum is standing behind me and taking the odd photo on her camera phone, I’m not going to be precious about it. It doesn’t bother me at all. I’ll chat to her, include her in the banter, let her snap away and then use it to my advantage.
Have you been in this situation before? How did you deal with it?
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