Photography isn’t just about going around and snapping photos. Instead, this hobby, or should we call it business, consists of numerous things to achieve success. Much like every job out there, photography requires some responsibilities and merits to be done successfully. And as this business consists of several different branches, speaking about distinct duties for every photographer is futile.
In this article, we’ll check what are the main responsibilities of each photographer, as well as some requirements for being a photographer.
What Skills Do Photographers Need?
Well, this is a common question among beginner photographers. Before we delve into what your responsibilities should a photographer have, it’s very important that we cover the basic requirements.
This one is obvious. You can have all the knowledge you want, but if you don’t have an eye for photography… well, that’s not going to work. A really good photographer should be able to compose a nearly-perfect shot and create a visually-stunning photo. Not only that, but he also needs to have a basic knowledge about framing, light, and colors, as these three factors are the epitome of a good photo.
Communication and Business Skills
If you want to sell out your work, being communicative and eloquent is a must. A good photographer should be able to bring new clients and meet new people on a daily basis. Talking with the customers and understanding them is also important. All in all, a photographer should really understand what his customer wants. This is the key to becoming a successful photographer. The more you connect with your client, the more trust he is going to show.
Spotting Fine Details
Most of us will not see those fine details on the photo, judging from a single glance.
But, what makes a particular photographer excellent?
We just gave the answer- the fine details! A responsible photographer should always have everything under control, before, during, and after taking the photo. The lighting and angles should be always perfect.
An unedited photo can sometimes turn very good, but for the most part, this is a crucial step. The photographer should know how to use a computer and software that’s meant for photo-editing. A truly good photographer can make astonishing results using even the basic software, let alone software like Photoshop. After all, the editing should be just an icing on the cake, as most of your photography skills should be prominent when taking the photo, not when editing it.
What Are Responsibilities of a Photographer?
We’ve come to the nitty-gritty of the topic. And you know what? Photographers carry a huge load of responsibilities on their backs. So huge that it can drastically impact the lifestyle of a single photographer and even make this job more stressful. Now, let’s see what are the responsibilities of photographers.
Being Friendly With Clients
The first responsibility of a photographer is, of course, this one. Being friendly will not only make more clients but also keep the older clients coming back. A photographer shouldn’t be constantly on edge and displaying inappropriate behavior when something’s not going well. Instead, the photographer should be here to encourage the clients and have everything under control. All in all, a photographer needs to be friendly, stable, and always acting professionally.
Seeking Photographic Opportunities
Your responsibility, as a photographer, is to always seek new opportunities. You see, photography isn’t an 8-hour job. It’s a job that requires you to always seek new opportunities in order to make new and inspiring photos. If you just walk through your city doing nothing but looking at your phone, you aren’t doing your job as a photographer. Remember to always carry your camera around – you’re a photographer and that’s your responsibility!
Being Able to Work in Different Conditions
Photography isn’t always a walk in the park. Sometimes, it’s a walk in the park during the heavy rain or even heavy snow. Either way, your responsibility is to finish your photoshoot even if the weather conditions aren’t great. And to be honest, you sometimes must sacrifice a little bit of your comfort in order to take some great photos. After all, this will help you build your mental strength and become a reliable photographer for your clients.
Use Professional Photography Gear
A photographer should always use high-quality photography gear. That’s not my opinion, but simply a fact and responsibility. Various technical equipment is recommended, such as professional cameras, lenses, photo-editing software, and similar. It’s your responsibility to make your client satisfied and without proper gear, that’s nearly impossible.
Arranging Objects During Photoshoot
During a photoshoot, it’s a photographer’s responsibility to arrange the subjects, still-life objects, scenes, and backgrounds. As we mentioned earlier, it’s a photographer’s job to take advantage of certain situations, but also make the environment work for him. In that regard, a photographer should always give the instructions to its subject or if it’s still-life photography, arrange the scene by himself.
Discussing Technical Problems
Photography depends on technology. And as we know, whenever we have a piece of technology, we also have some technical problems. It’s a photographer’s responsibility to take note of every single technical problem and initiate a discussion with the clients.
The technical problems are sometimes image quality, bad lighting, inappropriate environment, etc. This should be discussed between a photographer and his client to determine if anything should be remedied.
Managing the Photography Business
Although it’s not in the first spot, this is very important. It’s not just a responsibility, but a DUTY of a photographer to manage his photography business. This is also the most important aspect of determining the photographer’s success.
Managing this business include administration, invoicing, accounting, scheduling work, and much more. All of these should be written on a piece of paper or in a document on the computer. This will help the photographer in doing his photoshoots and improve the quality of his services.
Managing the Portfolio
A photographer without his portfolio is like a car without the wheels. Yes, you can still use the steering wheel, but the car will not move. The same applies here – you can use your camera, but you can’t earn anything from it. To secure future assignments and make your name memorable in the world of photography, managing your portfolio is simply mandatory.
A portfolio should always include the newest work, detailed information about yourself, as well as your contact information. Finally, it should be always updated in case you change some of your business principles, prices, and photography offers.
Promoting and Self-Marketing
Promoting and self-marketing are the pinnacles of your work. These two represent one of the most important responsibilities of a photographer. Photography without any kind of marketing is simply futile. You can shoot some photos just for fun, but if you want to make your name out there, you should promote yourself. The easiest way to do it is to produce business cards and postcards for your potential clients.
You can also offer promotional materials to your old clients, which is a great way of keeping them coming back. Building and maintaining your own website is also great and it’s surely a photographer’s responsibility.
Keeping up with the Industry Trends
Speaking of valuable responsibilities, this one is pretty important. Keeping up with the latest (and greatest) photography trends should be your priority. You should always seek new gear, a new style of photography, new environments, and new subjects to shoot.
Yes, it’s awesome if you have your own style and stick with it, but it’s also great to change things up a little bit. Too much of the same will become boring and trends should be followed, like it or not.
In this case, the internet is a great way to start. Alternatively, cooperating with the other photographers is also a nice idea and will help you stay in touch.
Talk to Other Professionals
By talking to other professional and non-professional photographers, you gain a bit of knowledge every time. It’s your responsibility to always have a chat about photography and the business side of photography with your friends that are in this business. Not only that, but you can also contact graphic designers, picture researches, and art directors to work with them.
Is Success Guaranteed?
What if you successfully undertake all of your responsibilities?
Will you necessarily succeed?
It really depends mostly on the conditions you work in. For example, not every country is great for doing photography. Some countries value photographers less, while some countries and even cities are great for this business. Furthermore, many other factors come from the photographer himself.
Is he ready to sacrifice in order to get something?
Is he capable of capturing photos in every weather condition?
Is he smart enough to keep the whole business by himself?
Understandably, not every person is able to maintain such a serious business. While some photographers are great at capturing stunning photos, they can also be bad when it comes to the business side. However, photographers can team up with some people and try to undertake every single responsibility in order to succeed. Still, it really depends on the region you’re working in and of course, your effort.
Do You Need Additional Qualifications?
Yes, but it’s not always necessary. Some of the qualifications you can get are fine art, graphics, photography, digital imaging, art, and design. However, if you feel like you’re talented for some of these, qualifications aren’t obligatory.
But, the more qualifications you get, the better it is. With these qualifications, you can work even outside of photography, granting you more chances for getting a job and more cash with it.
To conclude our article, we need to give our honest opinion on these responsibilities.
Quite frankly, photographers do a lot of jobs aside from just snapping photos. The sheer amount of job that one photographer needs to do before selling his work is just huge. And the bigger the business he has, the more work needs to be done.
That being said, this business can also be stressful and sometimes a double-edged sword. The benefits of fulfilling these responsibilities can also be great, on the brighter side.
An independent photographer gets to earn more cash, as well as travel to various places for photoshoots. But, until you get there, some important responsibilities need to be taken into account. They make your photography business more relevant and successful.