Customer Wants and Matching it With Your Work

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Saddlebreds4me, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. Saddlebreds4me

    Saddlebreds4me TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi Everyone,

    I was hoping to throw out some ideas for discussion as this past weekend brought an awareness that I really hadn't thought too much about. And I apologize if any of this is unclear...it's late and I'm not making much sense especially after midnight.

    As some of you know after reading my panic thread about flash work (of which I do NONE) and having to shoot this horse show in an indoor arena. I decided to bit the bullet and bought the Nikon MB-D10 external battery pack and chose my SB800 speedlight to shoot.

    I was holding up pretty well until the batteries in the flash started to kibby and of course it wasn't recycling fast enough - but I got through it.

    So I'm standing in the middle of the ring waiting for the next class to come in and it happens to only have one horse in the class...but what a horse he was! It's been a long time since I've seen a Morgan that nice - 4 years old and ready to take on the world...but I digress.

    I was thrilled to have something exciting to shoot because several of the other horses are nice, but as subjects they can be challenging to shoot in different ways and angles. Anyway this really exciting horse came in, I was immediately in heaven and ready to get to work.

    After the class - the rider (who also happened to be the trainer) came up to me to ask about my photos - I don't know this man personally - I just knew of him per se. When I got home and sent him the proofs, he took I guess one quick look at the bunch I sent to him - and he emailed me back, thanking me for the great shots and that one of them would be the cover shot on a up and coming issue of one of our major equine publications - dedicated to the Morgan and Saddlebred breeds.

    Sorry this is long....but just trying to give you the picture.

    The photo the trainer and owner selected is probably my best work I've ever done from a composition standpoint. If you've never tried to catch a horse at the very top of his stride, it takes hours and hours of practice to get timing correctly. When a horse trots in front of me, I won't snap a picture until I can get a somewhat accurate read on his/her cadence and distance from the front legs to the back....et al.

    Here's my issue:

    I LOVE this photo...I really do. I also know that in the horse business, many people tend to like their legs pretty much blurred or almost a panned effect to project speed and powerfulness. I get it, but I don't think I much like it. And this photo I think is probably some of my best work - from about the horse's chest and up...I can't look at the legs too long...they drive me nuts- btw, it did not intentionally try to blur the legs...I realized I accidently lowered my shutter speed...and I was pissed when I realized it the next day but they loved it...so do I just go with it? Sorry, I'm a little confused...you are too for reading this..so again, thank you for trying to get through it.

    The owner saw the photo and immediately ordered (3) 8 X 10's among several other 8x10s...this photo will also be gracing the cover of a national publication - this is a huge honor for me - as Horse World, the magazine it will be on, is our industry's most prestigious publication. I am beyond thrilled my photo was chosen...but I can't stand how blurry his legs are yet the owner LOVES it.

    So my question to you guys is do you just give the customer what he/she wants (I'm inclined to say yes to this as they are paying you for your talent and 'vision' I guess.) leaving your ideas and impressions under wraps? I think sometimes you are better off keeping your mouth shut and try to please the customer/or barn owner - When do you give up a piece of what you think is right or would look better and when do you come flat out and tell whoever it is you are working for that A, B,& C don't work in this photo (Granted hopefully, in my case they are banking on the fact that I've been in horses for so long and understand what people are looking for - so maybe they will look to you because in their eyes you are the professional) and thank you for reading, I apologize for the length of the post and I hope it makes sense.

    What do you do? What your customer is paying you for? or if you see something better do you speak up? I think that's the crux of my question.

    Thanks again!

    Here is the photo:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
  2. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    San Diego
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    umm.. I would remove the "blue eye????" if thats what its called in the horses eyes. Just make it black. I think it takes away from the photo.
     
  3. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    San Diego
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    And I would say turn up your iso or get a faster lens so you don't have the blurr on the legs. Its simply trotting you shouldn't have any blurr....
     
  4. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,905
    Likes Received:
    85
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Here's a thought. Could you offer to do a reshoot specifically for the publication image? The only down point on hsi side is time and you can 'fix' what is bugging you and they will get an even better image. I would be tempted to go this route and if he says he woudl prefer not well.. then just go with this one. yes.. the horse has a bit of the flash eye gone horse style so as the previous poster said.. I would fix that up :) Also maybe desat the handicap sings in the stands

    Also, you know best but when you reshoot could you shoot more perpendicular like your personal image? Just my personal though for a magazine cover but.. :)

    Congrats on this HUGE opportunity :)
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,099
    Likes Received:
    3,765
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    On the one hand the customer is always right
    and on the other hand the customer is always an idot ;)

    What you have to consider is not only their wants, but also your reputation as a photographer in this market - is the shot they are requesting up to your personal standards? Reading what you wrote I am thinking not.
    If I were in your shoes I would not even have sent that shot as a proof myself, with the eye like that and the legs blurred and part of getting to that higher level is setting the bar very high for yourself and your clients.

    Now that he is offering the shot for a publication (with your name on it) and in a horsy circle (one you want into) I would most certainly offer a reshoot of the shot. A chance to get that blur removed - to not have the flash eye effect and to also get a chance at a better background.
     
  6. Saddlebreds4me

    Saddlebreds4me TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you everyone for your responses.

    A couple of things...a reshoot is not possible for many reasons but the biggest one being the deadline of the publication. Also you typically only get one or two chances at a horse show to see the horse in the ring with the rider in full show attire - and the show world that I travel in, a horse as young as this (4 years old) only shows once. I have several shots that are much clearer but the customer liked this one and like one of you said, you wouldn't have even have shown this photo to them - I don't disagree and I almost didn't. However, having been in the horse world long enough, I showed it to them because the horse is trotting so correctly and so square, plus has great expression - it's a photo that owners and trainers would want to see...blurry legs or not.

    I haven't been shooting horses all that long (approx. 4 years or so) and my breed and discipline I believe is one of hardest to photograph correctly. I know how to correct the blur...what happened with that shot, I'm not sure, maybe I accidentally hit my shutter speed wheel or something...I didn't want to go up any higher on my ISO because I didn't want to run the risk of noise.

    With regard to the "it's simply trotting" comment I would invite shortballer to get in the middle of the ring and shoot anywhere from 1 to 21 horses in a class to capture the legs at the precise top of the stride - and get it right without just keeping a finger on the shutter to snap 5 rapid frames in a row. I've invested a lot of money in my lenses so those aren't getting any faster...I have two f/2.8 lenses (one 80-200 and one 24-70). It is much harder than it looks and I don't think that people realize it until you try it. You have seconds to figure out a horse's stride and catch it once and right - people in my horse world are not going to pay for anything less...I also have to believe that many people here on the board would say the same thing regarding any action sport they might enjoy shooting (cars, motorcycles etc...).I don't mean to get hot about it, but it's not easy...I can have the magazine take out the flash in the eye I totally agree with all of you...that needs to go.

    I appreciate the c & c but that's not why I posted the shot...it was about when the customer requests something that you don't want to shoot, or shoot it in a way that you know could be better...they are paying you, so what would you do?

    Again, many thanks....I appreciate all of you taking the time to respond. I hope I explained more and wasn't too defensive about it...I'm just trying to educate and you all have SO much great advice and knowledge to share.:)
     
  7. g-fi

    g-fi TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Ohio
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If it was me, I'd give the customer the shot they want. As you said, a reshoot isn't really possible, and if the publication approves of the shot, and your customer has ordered prints of the shot, might as well give them what they want. You said yourself, you showed this photo because there are several things you and your customer will/do like about it. I think it's easy to get mired in how you could produce a "better" or more technically correct picture, but it comes down to- does the customer like it? Do they feel the picture has value for the cost?

    However, that's my opinion. If it REALLY bothers you, and you feel like your reputation will suffer because of it, don't do it. Personally, these days, I wouldn't pass up a paying client and a chance to be in/on a publication in the genre of my photography unless there were serious issues with an image.
     
  8. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    All i am gunna say is... If only you shot with canon :p
    Prsonally, I quite like the shot, Sure, it would look awesome if the legs were tack sharp, But at the end of the day, It does show motion and good motion it is.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,402
    Likes Received:
    10,665
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    At the end of the day, the person who is paying should get what they want. That said, the customer doesn't always know what looks best. When I run into a case like this, I will usually do something like, "Okay Mr. Jones, here's the image you asked for and here's a slightly different version which you may want to consider as it shows off <Whatever> differently".
     
  10. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    United States of America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The customer isn't always right but the customer is always the customer.

    Don't make an issue of it. The customer is happy. Let sleeping horses lie.
     
  11. Silverdreamer3

    Silverdreamer3 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Oregon
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That is a tough one. I understand where you are coming from as I photograph hunters. Timing is everything and that is a nice looking morgan for sure. The blur can be viewed in a good way as they can really move out at that trot, much more than my hunters! If it makes the cover that would be great!
     
  12. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Georgia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Give it to them the way they want it. It is still your style and your photograph with your copyright. It is the same as a product shot with an art director over your shoulder changing everything, you have to do what the customer says, it is their shoot. Just enjoy the acolades! A cover is always a wonderful thing, celebrate it. Congrats!!!
     

Share This Page