How to be a good client when it comes to photography

Pauline Le Pichon
2 min readNov 6, 2023

My previous article is about what freelance photographers should and shouldn’t do. Although the outcome of a commissioned work depends mainly on the photographer, I think there are three really important things that the client should do if they want to be happy with the photos.
These rules may seem pretty obvious, but believe me, not everyone follows them.

1. Choose the right photographer

Do some research and take the time to find the photographer whose universe pleases you. Choosing someone just because they’re cheaper than the other photographers, or because you are in a hurry, is the best way to be disappointed with the result… and to blame the photographer. But you know what? There are plenty of photographers in the world, so you can be sure of finding someone whose work is exactly what you’re looking for.
We’re lucky enough to live in the internet age, so don’t hesitate to use it.

Photograph taken by Pauline Le Pichon

2. Be clear about what you want

Once you’ve chosen the photographer you want to hire, contact them and be clear about the photos you want. It’s really annoying when a client doesn’t tell you what they want or is very vague.
I mean, the photographer isn’t supposed to guess. So take some time to think about what images you’d like to have. You could say something like “would it be possible for you to take black and white close-up portraits of me in a forest at dawn?” It’s polite and clear, everything a photographer wants to read/hear. Again, if you don’t know exactly what you want, don’t blame the photographer if you’re not happy with the end result.

3. Don’t negotiate the price

Photographers have to earn a living in order to have a roof over their heads, to eat, to buy equipment, to pay their bills and so on. When they set their prices, their aim is not to rip off their clients. So don’t negotiate the price. You wouldn’t negotiate in a grocery shop, so why should you with a photographer? And if you want to know what explains the price, don’t hesitate to ask the photographer politely. Personally, my rates are set according to the amount of work I have to do (emails, mood boards, transport, photo shoot, editing, etc.) and the time it takes me.

I hope you enjoyed this article!

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Pauline Le Pichon

I’m a French visuel artist, freelance photographer, instructor and writer.