There is a lot of us...family photographers that is. Sometimes we have multiple friends that are photographers. Some friends are just starting out while others have been grinding away for years. Some friends photograph more than just families. I always feel kind of bad for my friends. I wonder if they secretly want to use someone else, but are afraid to hurt my feelings. I wonder if they feel like they are compelled to promote my work, but don’t necessarily like it. It’s tough being friends with a photographer. Well, in case you are struggling I have come up with some do and don’ts.
Side note - Friends & Family , if you are reading this and who am I kidding, you probably aren’t, I think you are all wonderful and amazing people. I am directing this to no one in particular. Really.
Okay, here we go….
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t like their work. You don’t have to hire them and you can always help them in other ways ie sharing their website with people that might like it.
Do say yes to a practice session if they offer it up. They need the practice. You are their friend. That’s the deal.
Do give honest yet kind and thoughtful feedback if you do a practice or complimentary session with them. Do tell them how the shooting experience was and what you thought of the images themselves.
Don’t expect a discount. When you see a photographer charging x amount per session don’t assume that that person is now making x amount per hour for her job. So not accurate. Discounts can hurt.
Don't ever ask for anything free. They may offer up freebies, but expecting freebies is just not fair. Unless they have given you lots of money for your businesses, taken you on vacations, invited you to their house for an extended stay. Then ask for free, but only then.
Do share their work if you like images they shoot (especially of you and your kin).
Do always credit them when sharing.
Do talk about them to friends, family, and acquaintances if you know they would like their work. Word of mouth is HUGE for photographers so get your mouth out there using words. Good words!
Do like things they post on social media and make nice comments. It means a lot.
Don’t like things on social media if you think it’s just not good. Courtesy likes depress me.
Do let them chat about photography even if it is kind of dull. I beg of you to ask me why I like shooting film!!
Do let them know if you are hiring someone else. No biggie. You can come up with a 1000 reasons with some being a nice way to wiggle out of what you really want to say and other reasons being totally accurate.
Do have some patience if they are always taking photos and you don’t always want your photo taken. Suck it up. It’s not that bad. If you truly can’t take it just let them know that it’s you and not them.
Do let them know if you don’t like the images shared on social media without your permission. Totally cool of you to ask and expect.
Do give them lots of love and support. It is a tough business and they can use all of the confidence boosting and “way to go you crazy artist freelancer” speeches that you are offering.