This is a question which plays on my mind a lot. It seems most people see photographers as the Oxford definition..... "someone who takes photographs"
In my eyes, this couldn't be any more wrong. For example; only 10% of my time working is spent actually taking photos. The rest of the time i' m speaking to clients, make up artists, models, stylist and my retoucher.
I personally see a photographer as the person elected by the client to deliver and improve their vision and brand imagery. A photographer is a very small part of the team, but it's usually the photographer who sits between the client and the other team and keeps everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.
Of course, most of the time a client is around on the day of a shoot but I take it as my responsibility to do this, leaving them to enjoy the final result. After a shoot, I spend my time sorting through thousands of shots, sending the client a selection of the best along with my recommendations.
Next come mark-ups......... working with the client, I compile a to-do list for my retoucher to work on. I can't stress the importance of having a great retoucher as part of the team. Usually this communication happens remotely, meaning that communication must be concise and clear. My retoucher is based in Australia and i'm incredibly lucky to have him as part of my team.
As you can see, it's a lot more than just pressing the shutter on the camera......anyone can do that. The taking of a photograph is the easiest part of what I do. Taking THE photograph is the most difficult but most enjoyable part.
The difference between "a" photograph and "the" shot is huge and will often be the difference between having a successful campaign, maximising coverage and ultimately.....a happy client who will work with you time and time again.
The magic formula for me is to:
1. LISTEN to your clients brief
2. UNDERSTAND their brand
3. Be HONEST and give CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK on their ideas
4. RECOMMEND how to improve their shoot
5. Work with a TEAM you can RELY on
6. Create a FUN and RELAXED atmosphere in which everyone is valued and gives their HONEST OPINIONS
7. Do whatever it takes to EXCEED your clients expectations
8. Remain FLEXIBLE
Over and out....TLB xoxox