I recently followed a discussion in Model Mayhem launched by a “freelance photographer” who needed assistance with shooting a model portfolio for an aspiring model he had met recently. The supportive and caring response to the question was thoughtful and complete to the extreme. It really was a tribute to the professionals that are part of this group that shared without reservation even though I sensed a unspoken consensus of incredulity that a “photographer” would be unfamiliar with posing and lighting techniques.
In the end, I suppose anyone who has ever taken a picture is a photographer and if you can get someone to pay you then you are a pro. Likewise, I know of no pro who didn’t launch their career doubtful of their readiness or worried that they would be revealed as a charlatan soon after taking their first polaroids(sorry for the reference but many of us started before the advent of digital and LCD screens).
I want to make it clear at the outset that my intention is not to demean anyone who considers himself or herself a photographer. I have had many assistants who taught me and have been willing to share techniques I may have never found in any other way.
That being said
I would really like to know how it feels to the pros out there who see aspiring photographers present and market themselves as “photographers” not to mention “professionals” when by any reasonable measure such a claim is at best a benign stretch of their own imagination,(of course, I don’t mean to include Ashton Kutcher in this set of “photographers”).
I can hit some tennis balls on the tennis court and look like I know what Im doing but I wouldn’t call myself a professional . So why is the word “photographer” bandied about so easily by so many with little more than a Coolpix and a website?
Am I just having a bad day or is this ever a minor irritation to anyone else too
Matt Dunn ,Top Model Photographer, in Orlando Florida. Top fashion, advertising, and celebrity photographer will open another studio in Orlando Florida. His work is associated with clean fashion imagery as well as slick advertising campaigns for such famous clients as Walt Disney World, Everything But Water, Ron Jon Surf Shops, and ABC Television to name but a few. His slick fashion editorial spreads have been published in Vogue, Harpers’s Bazaar, Marie Clair, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour in many countries and his work has been published in 86 countries. His stock imagery is in the libraries of Corbis, Getty, and Super Stock. He has been photographing celebrities and supermodels for three decades and is available for assignment world-wide. Still working in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Miami, he will be also available for model development, model agency consultation, select weddings, portraits, and advertising work in the Orlando Florida area. Please feel free to contact Mr. Dunn at (954)529-1390 for consultation.
Are You a Professional Photographer?
Take this simple test to see if you (or someone you know) shows the characteristics of a true
You pay taxes on your income.
You file estimated tax payments q
uarterly, file state sales tax,
and you claim your income on your tax return. If you don’t, think about the number of people
who see your “page” on Facebook. It won’t take long for the state and federal revenue people
to connect your FB “business” with the fact that you don’t obey the law and report your income
like a real professional.
You have a real website
. Facebook doesn’t count. A website legitimizes you as someone who
will be around in a couple of years, and knows how to run a business.
You have an established post production workflow with backups and offsite storage
not, what are you going to tell your clients when something trashes their images and don’t have
You have backup equipment
. Say you drop your main camera/lens at a wedding. What will
you do? Where is your backup gear? How will you respond in front of your client?
You set custom white balance and calibrate your monitors
. If you don’t know what these
are, that might explain why your images don’t produce consistent colors.
You don’t rely on filters, special effects, color gimmicks or other manipulation to give
your images appeal
. If they can’t stand on their own with basic post production, are they really
that good? Getting the exposure right “in camera” is a hallmark of a talented professional.
You work with reputable print labs and equipment to generate quality printed output and
. Your clients really do want prints. Are you going to let them produce terrible prints at
the local giant store? Have you ever compared the difference?
You have insurance
. You cover your equipment, liability, and errors and omissions. Stuff
happens. Are you professional enough to be prepared?
You know how to use your camera outside of “Automatic”.
Can you estimate a manual
exposure in bright sunlight? Do you know how to use a light meter? Can you calculate
equivalent exposures across a range of ISO, shutter speed and f-stops? A professional can do
that in her head.
You know how to use all kinds of light, natural and artificial
. If you sell yourself as a
“natural light” photographer, you may not have the skills to use supplemental light to create
good images. Use of on camera and off camera flashes is often a necessity.
Your web/portfolio/sample images are clean
. Are yours blown out, dull, out of balance,
uninteresting or poorly composed? How do you know? Have you ever had another
photographer that you respect give you honest critique on your images? Your clients are not
the best judge of image quality.
You use contracts and model releases for your sessions.
Do you realize you can be liable
if you publish images that don’t have releases, particularly for minors?
You belong and actively participate in professional photography organizations.
in WPPI, PPA or a
local group? If not, why not? These groups exist to provide guidance and
fellowship and development to professionals of all levels.
You pursue continual education.
What is the last photography class you have taken? Are
you pursuing a degree or merit program? Do you teach or mentor other photographers? If not,
why not? The best professionals continually grow and share with others.
You represent the business of photography professionally.
This means that you charge a
fair price, you don’t copy others’ work, you follow through on your commitments, produce
quality products and services, and you treat other photographers with respect.
So how many of the 15 points did you get? How “professional” do you think you are? What can you do
to improve your standing in the photography community?
Another Photographer scam alert
What good news!!! Someone wants to hire me as a photographer.
It seems that a Ms Doris Clack of Toledo want me to go out and shoot her wedding on the 31st of May.
Wow, good news indeed – my fame as a pro photographer has spread!!! 😉 I must reply immediately…
Only a few minor issues… Firstly I’m a commercial photographer who rarely covers weddings at all.
Secondly, the address looks like this. Hmm, just the sort of place I feel like traveling to in Toledo OH.
1515 W Laskey Rd, Toledo, OH, United States
What is this, a Simpsons address. Where do these guys come up with this? If they were
smart at least they would have recruited someone who could proofread and find all of the spelling and grammatical errors.
If I remember rightly, this one goes along the lines of:
1, ‘We’ll send you a check for all your costs and expenses”
2, Wedding gets cancelled
3, “Keep 20% of the check value, if you can just transfer the rest back to us”
4, Check turns out to be stolen/forged, so you lose the money you sent back.
I’ve seen much more plausible ones than this – what I always ask myself is… “OK, I know I’m a great photographer but why would someone pay to fly me out of Florida? Cant they find a good photographer available far cheaper locally?”
The full email…
I am Miss Doris Clack from United State, i am getting married to Mr
James bills on the 31 0f May 2013 at 1515 W Laskey Rd, Toledo, OH 43612
i needed a special photographer who will take a place at the
event next months i will like to know all what it will cost
you to get to the location here and the actual amount to take a
coverage of 7hour from the church to the reception i really need to
know this so that i can contact my father in-law about this because he
his the one paying for this coverage await your response immediately.
Thanks & God bless
Well we had a beautiful day to shoot Bonnie and Tim’s wedding. Fort Lauderdale Wedding Photographer | Portrait Photography We started with a beautiful outside ceremony and moved indoors to the Tanzy Restaurant. Fabulous food in a beautiful venue with an impeccable wait staff made for a picture perfect day. After looking at the images we photographed for them, the bride remarked she didn’t see one image where she wasn’t smiling! That is always our goal!!! We at Matt Dunn Photography wish you both the very best. You certainly deserve it!
What a beautiful day to shoot a wedding. Bonnie Weaver is a great personal trainer and I knew her from training my daughter and her tennis.
I am really happy we had great weather for the outdoor wedding a few blocks from Mizner Park. The reception was at a beautiful restaurant called Tanzy
which is in Mizner Park 301 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL
Lots of fun people and a great party.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Matt Dunn Photography Receives 2012 Best of Orlando Award
Orlando Award Program Honors the Achievement
ORLANDO October 21, 2012 — Matt Dunn Photography has been selected for the 2012 Best of Orlando Award in the Portrait Photographers category by the Orlando Award Program.
Each year, the Orlando Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Orlando area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2012 Orlando Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Orlando Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Orlando Award Program
The Orlando Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Orlando area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Orlando Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Orlando Award Program
I have been working diligently on my new website. I had to go back to the beginning since all of the images are bigger and have much more detail. I should launch it in the next week since I am putting the finishing touches on everything. Working on new logo too. You will also see many updated images as well. Thank you everyone for your patience
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK, NY, November 8, 2011 — Matt Dunn Photography has been selected for the 2011 Best of Orlando Award in the Portrait Photographers category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).
The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2011 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.
About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)
U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a New York City based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.
The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.
SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association
U.S. Commerce Association