But all you do is “pushing a button”

Sara Malmberg, photo at Le Peyrou, Montpellier by Nathalie Bergström
Like the header is hinting about what I’m about to write about, you’re right. During my years as a photographer I’ve came across I don’t know how many people who have actually expressed themselves like that. No way? yes way!

Thinking the work of a photographer is just holding a camera and pushing a button and that everything is finished after that..is not only wrong but disrespectful. It’s like telling a doctor “Hey, all you do is write out medication to people on a piece of paper”. So here it goes, a typical day for me if I’m heading out to have a photo shoot for a client.

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The typical workload for me as a photographer
Before the photo shoot:

– Answer mails, make bookings, planning, sometimes location scouting

– Prepare the camera bag, make sure all batteries are loaded, memory cards empty, clean the lens

– Travel to where ever I’m hearing to

– Arrive before the photo shoot, take a look around, start preparing my equipment (depending on what kind of photo shoot it is)

– Start the photo shoot! Try different angles, places, body languages etc.

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After the photo shoot is finished:

– Put the equipment back in order

– Return home

– Load all the photos into the computer

– Look through the photos, delete the ones that obviously won’t be used (people blinking and such)

– Wait a bit. Look trough the photos again.

– Start giving notes (1-5) to the ones that I feel “yes!” straight away.

– Count the photos selected.

– Start editing the photos in Camera RAW, the basics. Save to TIFF.

– Open the TIFFs in Photoshop and start editing them more closely.

– Find a color tone that will match through the whole photo serie and will keep them together.

– Adjust things like a spot somewhere, a light too heavy etc.

– Save the TIFF then make a high resolution JPEG-file out of it for the client.

– Normally I do both color & black and white so same process as above one more time.

– Look through the photos again, see if I missed any good photos.

– Make sure all the photos are in both color and & black and white.

– Upload the photos through WeTransfer, wait, send them to the client.

– Contact the client saying the photos are sent, wait for feedback.


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Also as a photographer you need to:

– Be flexible

– It normally takes more time then predicted

– Sometimes unexpected things happen, it can be the weather, someone’s running late, things that needs to be fixed = find a solution/wait

– Keep a positive vibe! make people at ease, usually one can be quite nervous if it’s a wedding day for example. Have compassion!

So to sum it up:

No we don’t just push a button and then somehow the photos gets magically sent to the client. It takes planning, personal chemistry, good communication, photo editing and packaging it all, and most of all: your personal style and eye. Something that we worked hard to have. So next time someone thinks I’m being to expensive or that they could do my job themselves; be my guest! but it won’t be the same.