Testing is part and parcel of being a professional photographer. Whether it involves testing new faces which could be used later for commercial projects, testing a new piece of equipment or technique – there are often times a photographer needs to shoot for free. There are times when a dry-run of a commercial project is required to ensure smooth running when crunch day comes.
Testing can be the difference between success and failure. What happens if the model looks good but can’t pose? The make-up artist takes five hours to complete a simple look? Sadly, both of these things have happened to me before when having to book blind and I have certainly learned my lesson the hard way.
I generally only work with models and a team I have tested with. The rapport with models and creatives is often better and the entire shoot runs far more efficiently as everyone knows how everyone else works.
The concept of testing is sometimes abused to get commercial photography for free. When it comes down to it, if a photographer’s images are good enough to use they are good enough to pay for. There’s no point pretending it’s a test if it isn’t. If you have any intention of using the images afterwards – even if they came from a genuine test – it is only fair the team which created the shots is compensated. Everyone has to survive and whilst us photographers love getting as much exposure as possible, we much prefer getting paid
With copyright of most photographs remaining with the photographer, abusing testing for commercial gain can be a dangerous situation, especially if the photographer finds his or her images flaunted around.
Instead of chancing it with the big “testing” lie, please just be honest and book the photographer for the commercial job you are asking them to do.
#photography #photographer #testing #fair #itsnotatest #commercialphotography #in