Here are some of my most frequently asked questions...
How do I book a freelance photographer?
To book me as a photographer you can reach out to me in many ways. You can call, text or WhatsApp me on the number 07984268356. You can use the contact me form below or send an email to email@example.com. Finally you can contact me through any of my social media channels which are linked at the top and bottom of every page.
What type of photographer should I hire?
My recommendation when looking for a photographer is to consider three main points.
The first is, how does the photographer's body of work fit with my brief and overall goals? Photographers with a varied and extensive collection of work will be able to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the project and also adapt to the brief as needed. However if the body of work doesn't fit with the style of the brief then both the client and photographer will be frustrated as there is always a balance between the business values and aesthetic and that of the photographer. Whenever I meet a client I present my personal ideas and vision and if it doesn't fit the client's desired outcome I recommend a potential alternative, I'd rather walk away with a positive relationship than commit to a brief that will cause potential friction in the future.
Second, how much does the photographer charge? I find that there is typically two types of charging in the photography world, the package cost which is often designed to guarantee a price but includes inflated and unnecessary charges for unwanted services or the hidden cost price list in which the photographer is only licensing images or not providing basics such as editing or digital delivery only to add them on afterwards. My advice is that if the photographer is holding back pricing or licensing they will inflate the cost when you need a service later on down the line. Personally I have a basic rate which is the same for all my services, I include full transfer of ownership to the client and include all editing and delivery in my costs. The only time I stray from this basic rate is if the brief requires the use of rented space or equipment which is generally only on large scale PR or commercial work.
The third and possibly most important is, how do you get along with the photographer? If you like the photographers work, their style works with your brief and you feel they charge a reasonable amount but you find out they are difficult tow work with, don't understand your values and share different perspectives on life you'll feel unsettled with and potentially uncomfortable with that person being part of your project. Before you let money and style be the single factor in deciding on a photographer reach out to your potential hire and see how you get along. With all my clients I offer a free consultation meeting either on the phone, or even better, over a cup of coffee. In that meeting I want to know about you, your project and your hopes and fears for the commission. Photography can be an extremely personal and powerful experience and in the commercial world effective communication tool. I hope that by building that initial rapport together that on the day and in the lead up we will have a open and honest relationship which ensures you feel your best when being photographed, relaxed knowing your project is being handled carefully and safe knowing you are working with someone who has you and your best interests at heart.
My opinion is that to retain a client I must always be honest with what I can and cannot achieve. If I can't deliver on the three points I've raised I'll be open with you and either describe how we can achieve the brief or recommend someone who may be a better fit for you.
What type of photographer are you?
I focus on three 'genres', portrait, event and corporate. In themselves these genre's cover many types of photography. As a portrait photographer I produce headshot, fashion, lifestyle, PR, family and pet photographs. When commissioned as an event photographer I cover conferences, weddings, presentation, conventions, PR, public and private performances. For my work as a corporate photographer I often produce images which are similar to both portrait and event but with a focus on the specific business who have commissioned the work. That also includes creating image libraries for use in multiple mediums, locations and publications. This also extends to capturing architectural and product photography.
How much does a professional photographer cost?
I believe in keeping pricing as simple and clear as possible.
Pricing for the majority of briefs starts at £100 per hour. I offer a 10% discount at 4hr+ and 15% discount for 8hr+ bookings.
For many clients that is all they need to know, we will have a consultation session as part of planning in which we can discuss your specific needs. I only quote extras when specified in the brief and consultation for example if printing is required, specialist equipment is required such as the booking of a location or the project requires long distance travel and overnight stays. All quotes will be provided prior to completion to ensure no hidden fees or surprises.
What does a professional photographer do?
For me, the purpose of of professional photographer is different to what a photographer does. the purpose of a professional photographer is to document for a client a specific real world occurrence. Be that an event, person, location of any combination of those. What a photographer 'does' is build knowledge and experience of how to do that effectively, efficiently and consistently. I personally spend the majority of my time researching photography as an art form, a tool, a communication method and as an aesthetically pleasing artwork. This research informs my purpose as it not only exposes me to a multitude of different genres and practitioners to draw inspiration from but as a practicing artist I get to refine and discover new techniques to use during my shoots. The actual work of a photographer is less about the day of the shoot and subsequent editing but in the practicing and preparing for when the need to perform for the job.
Why should I hire a professional photographer?
Today I believe the best reason for hiring a professional photographer is the peace of mind knowing that someone is dedicated to capturing the best quality images you can get whatever the reason or occasion. When you are looking to create images for your brand, event or even as a profile picture, a professional photographer is solely committed to that purpose with no distractions, able to quickly respond to changes in environment in which they work and with the experience to anticipate potential problems and work to correct them. Stock photography and the improvements in mobile cameras can appear to be a cheaper and easier solution but the lack can lack the personal connection of actual images of you, your team and business or in the case of mobile cameras, even misrepresent and completely miss certain aspects of the subject matter. Not only are you paying for that technological advantage and personal touch you are hiring someone who has spent a significant amount of time learning how an image can represent you and your values and , at east in my own case, has previously spent over a decade in hospitality and retail management so understands the importance of marketability, adaptability and ROI.
Where do you work as a photographer?
I mainly work in Manchester and surrounding areas such as Cheshire and Lancashire. But, I am available to work further afield dependant on brief, date, location and timescales. If you plan to have a party in Mauritius I'd gladly come along to photograph your celebration, however I will need to consult on the cost of travel, hotel stay, insurance and expenses. If that same party is in Leeds then it's much easier as I simply charge the national rate for milage expenses. Please contact me if you need to discuss options as part of a consultation.
Where does a photography session happen?
A photography session can take place anywhere! Depending on the brief we will have a consultation to finalise the location. We will decide where based on who you are, what you like, what you want to communicate etc. I have a mobile studio which means I can come to your office or home to shoot a studio style headshot or portrait. My equipment is all battery powered meaning I can shoot flash photography in the middle of a forest, desert or city centre despite having no access to plugs. Having work on the street, in a purpose built studio and in historic buildings I have the experience to bring a project together wherever the location suits.
What happens in a photography session?
Mostly a photography session is chatting, as boring as that sounds. I always aim to arrive early and setup equipment prior to the start of the session, this means that our time together is all about you and chatting is the best way to find out about you, how you look and how best to present you in the photograph. Typically in a one hour shoot I will start taking images around 15 mins into the session with a small break between shots to relax for the next 30-40 mins. Between each shot I'll review images with you, give advice and direction and adapt the setup to achieve the best outcome. My main aim is to make the session as easy and relaxed as possible for the subject so that come through in the photos. For event photography whilst we won't have much time to review images I will still be chatting with you and your guests letting everyone know they can relax. I'll step in and direct when needed to ensure group shots are spot on but otherwise after the first few images you'll hopefully forget I'm even there.
How long does a photography session last?
A photography session can last any time from 30 mins to 8 hours, depending on the brief. A typical basic headshot will be roughly 30 to 45 mins for the subject. Portrait sessions can last much longer but typically around 90 minutes allowing for multiple locations in close proximity and also more complex lighting or scene building. Events start at an hour but average 4 hours for a typical gathering. Weddings which start pre-ceremony and include speeches can be as long as 8 hours depending on the itinerary of the day. Corporate events can also last around 8 hours if thee is an all day conference and evening event.In our consultation I'll advise on what my experience tells me about each session and also on the best value for money.
How do I prepare for a photography session?
Depending on the type of session you have booked you will prepare in different ways. For Weddings and Events, just concentrate on yourself and your own plans I ensure to be full prepared with everything I need and details from our consultation session ready to ensure the brief is met with the least amount of disruption to your day. For headshot photography and portrait photography sessions the most important thing is to be relaxed and comfortable. Wear something that makes you feel confident and represents how you wish to be seen. Again our consultation session prior to the shoot will help with this. For corporate, PR and other types of work there will be more in depth consultation meetings and preparation sessions to minimise the amount of work that goes into preparing for the day of shooting.
When can I expect my photographs after a session?
Typically delivery time of final images is 3-5 working days depending on the type of session. Headshot and Portrait photography tend to be the quickest to deliver due to the short session time and lower image count whereas wedding and event photography can take much longer due to the volume of images and length of session time. For example a typical wedding of 4 hours would be at least 5 working days to deliver.
How do you deliver the photographs?
Your photographs can be delivered either physically or digitally. My normal process is to use a service such as WeTransfer to upload your images to a server for you to download to your computer or mobile device at your convenience. It is also possible to share a folder through iCloud or Drive if we both need access to discuss and amend work easily. I can host the images on my own website if you wish to share a link with family and friends, especially useful if you have a lot of people who need access for choosing prints etc but don't want to deal with sharing links with everyone or perhaps with people who aren't quite as tech savvy. Finally the images could be loaded to a memory stick and posted, this would be an additional charge and delay but perfect for those with slower internet or concerns about security.
How safe are my photographs?
All my work is duplicated during the session via my camera system. This is then backed up to two separate drives during editing and again to two locations during archiving. Throughout this process the images are stored in a third location until editing is completed at which point the final jpegs are then stored off site whilst being delivered to the client. This ensures that at any point there would have to be three separate failures of storage before image loss. Digital delivery of images allows many different channels of transmission or physical transfer can be accommodated if preferred.
Where can I use my photographs?
All my final images are produced at the highest possible quality levels. Currently, this is roughly 24mp allowing for printing at gallery standard dpi of 300dpi up to 20" x 13.5". It is possible to print larger scale at a reduced dpi dependent on the client requirements, it is always best to discuss during consultation to ensure the requirements can be met, for example billboards are typically only 72dpi allowing for sizes upwards of 6ft! I can also output the images in what ever format you require for the usage. Typically jpeg is sufficient but you may require CYMK or TIFF for example. I can also size to purpose, for example a profile picture will look better when sized before uploading rather than uploading the full high resolution version to then crop down to the typical 300x300 requirement on social media.
What are the term & conditions of image usage?
All licences for image are owned solely by the client. Whilst I do offer a printing service I do not hold the client to that service by copywriting work. I believe that the quality of my prints speak for themselves and to achieve that quality my printing prices are very much inline with similar providers. However not everyone needs, wants or can afford large gallery quality prints, by allowing my clients the freedom to chose who and when they want to print their images means everyone has access without hidden fees. I do really appreciate when clients allow the use of their images on my website but that is agreed on a client by client basis.
Are photographers insured?
Yes, all freelance photographers should be insured and I can provide proof of my public liability, indemnity and other types of insurance upon request.
Are photographers DBS checked?
Yes, I take personal safety very seriously and update my DBS disclosure every year to provide peace of mind for my clients.