At least being a commercial photographer isn’t boring. Far from it in fact. Indeed, I’m going to try and write this post in a non-moaning manner. In short, I always try to avoid negative posts – so this won’t be one. However, I think it’s important to understand that in the case of commissioning a photographer, time, literally is money.

Don’t waste a photographer’s time

I felt compelled to write something that explained how I felt after basically wasting 4 hours attempting to do a photoshoot on a live construction site in Manchester city centre.

All because the person responsible (a third party) has miscommunicated a key piece of information to the person who would be responsible for me on site.

Ok, misunderstandings can occur, but this one defied belief. I turned up on time to be kept waiting nearly an hour. When my contact arrived back at the site office and we had the conversation over what I was had been asked to photograph, he simply said ‘what?!’

He said he was told I would only need half an hour on-site. The actual brief was 40-50 photographs of various scenarios. So basic maths means that would give me 36 seconds per shot. This doesn’t really allow for composition, exposure, moving from location to location, lighting scene or the waiting for the right light and so on.

When I explained that this was a 4 hour shoot, 3 minimum then he said I can maybe give you 45 minutes. Ok, a quick walk around the site and 4-5 shots later I was basically kicked off-site. Factor in travel time you can imagine the 4 hours lost for 4-5 images wasn’t exactly ideal.

Fortunately, by this point, I had spoken with the end client and they were very understanding. I really dislike letting clients down. Even when it’s not my fault: but here we are.

I understand the site’s point of view. What I don’t understand is how this can happen. This, accordingly, brings us back to my original title. I always advise clients that they should let me arrange the logistics of a shoot with the person I need to deal with. After all, these are usually working businesses so I can help mitigate any potential issues. Just like this example.

So I implore anyone arranging a shoot and commissioning a photographer, please leave it to the photographers to sort.