As some of you already know, I’ve been working on a book called, “So You Think You Can Be a Rockstar Photographer”. It examines the impact that social media has had on the profession of professional photography.
In compiling the research for this book, it became very clear that there’s so much misrepresentation and fraud that the entire industry is beginning to appear not credible.. It is so easy to “appear” as an established professional photographer (as in the story of Meagan Kunert) and there’s so many things that a potential bride and groom may not know to ask photographers that they’re considering hiring.
A lot of brides for example, would have no idea that their photographer should carry a certain amount of liability insurance, or to ask if the images on the photographer’s website were taken at actual paid events, or at a shooters workshop (where a professional photographer hires models and stylists) for participants to use as samples of their work online.
Misrepresentation in photography is very damaging to the industry. The public at large may soon begin to not trust professional photographers in general.
Here are some early images of the questionnaire. It will probably have a few final tweaks, but once it’s done it will be released to potential brides. I think for you, it would also be a great gesture, (and a great-booking advantage) if the you gave your potential client a copy of this form completely filled out and signed.
Just like the diamond industry goes to great lengths to educate their consumers that a) a diamond should cost the groom three months salary or b) what the four C’s mean in measuring the quality of the diamond. Having a standardized, “Truth in Disclosure Form” will at least protect the consumer from fraud.
I understand that to some photographers this may seem intimidating because your natural tendency would be to look through every single one of these boxes hoping that you would score an “A” on every answer. But that’s not the point. The point is to be truthful in the categories listed, and with that information, the potential client can simply be more informed. I think this is extremely important to have circulating around for these reasons.
As for, “will the brides even know meaningful answers?” I plan on publishing a guide to the range of answers possible, and how to weigh their meaning.