Shoot and Share Photographers - You Either Love Them or You Hate Them

Shoot and Share Photographers - You Either Love Them or You Hate Them

Over the last couple years, more and more photographers are turning towards a new business model of sharing the digital files with their clients rather than requiring them to place print orders to generate revenue. The traditional business model photographers who rely on sales of prints to make money are furious with the growing popularity of "shoot and share photographers" even going as far as "declaring war" against it. Here's what photographers need to know.

What is a "Shoot and Share" photographer?
It is a photographer who has chosen to turn over the edited digital files to their client so that they can share the images as they would like and print them wherever they wish.

Why are so many photographers upset with this business model?
They feel it cheapens the industry and cuts into revenue sources that photographers have been relying on for years. Traditionally wedding or portrait photographers set up meetings with clients after the photos have been edited and use the time to sell prints of many sizes to them. An average sales meeting for traditional photographers will yield them anywhere from $500 to $3,000 extra income from the sale of prints, canvases, albums and other photo related items. Photographers relying on this extra income to maintain their business are growing upset at the number of photographers offering the "shoot and share" model making it too easy for clients to receive the digital files and print them on their own.

Fstoppers Shoot and Share Photographers Wedding 1

Are they ruining the industry?
Over the last few years as the "Shoot and Share" model of photography has continued to grow a number of outspoken photographers have taken to the blogging, email newsletters or Facebook to pronounce their disgust with the model. Often they will say that photographers who follow the "Shoot and Share" model will be out of business in just a matter of years or that they care less about the clients because they don't want to sell them beautiful prints and canvases for their homes and instead just push them to Walmart to have products made. "Shoot and Share" photographers are told they are ruining the photography industry and that if they keep it up soon we will all be out of business. John Mireles, who calls himself "The Photographer's Business Coach" even went as far to say in a blog article published on August 10th that he was "declaring war" on one product and its innovator. In the article the author says those who follow the "Shoot and Share" business model are, "not making's a hobby at best and recipe for failure at worst." He goes on to say, "Now if you're a photographer who just likes to shoot the wedding and then wash your hands of it, that's your prerogative and I respect that. It's just important to know that you're leaving a significant amount of money on the table." He goes on to explain in the article that he has yet to meet a photographer who is rolling in the cash because he sold a bunch of prints and that the reason photographers following the traditional model charge as much as they do is because it is necessary to "operate sustainably."


Can't we all just get along?
Now before I go any further, this article is not about trying to sway photographers to choose one model of business versus another. I say pick whichever you feel works best for you. My reason for writing this blog post is because over the last year I have seen a number of contentious battles between the two sides. In fact, I was once a member of a great group of photographers on Facebook but, because they constantly battled over this idea that photographers cannot be profitable as a "Shoot and Share" business model I decided to leave the group and in turn have lost daily contact with a number of friends there. I was just tired of photographers slinging mud at each other and being disrespectful in the way they handled different attitudes towards running their photography business. Ultimately we all want to do the same thing, which is bring happiness to our clients while making money to continue operating our business successfully.

Here's a business term worth knowing.
What I hope all photographers reading this article learn is the business term that was coined by a professor at the Harvard Business School Clayton Christensen called "disruptive innovation." According to Wikipedia, "A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market."

Fstoppers Shoot and Share Ikea Southwest

Examples of companies that shook up their industry.
When IKEA entered the furniture retail business it shook the industry up and had other furniture stores reevaluating how they manufacture and sell their product to compete or differentiate themselves. When Southwest entered the airline market with its low cost, no frills, pick your seat way of doing business, other airlines took notice and some even tried to compete, some went out of business while some re-innovated their own marketing strategy to continue operating their business in a more traditional sense of the way. There are a number of examples of companies that have used disruptive innovation to shake up an industry.

One visionary who was incredible at doing this was Steve Jobs. For those old enough to remember, he took Apple from a struggling computer company that was competing with the behemoth Microsoft and turned it into a consumer device company. The iPod and later the iPad were disruptive innovations that turned personal computing on its side and revolutionized the technology industry. Then came iTunes with the ability to buy individual songs from artists rather than having to purchase the whole disc of music, then apps (disruptive innovation to the software industry) then came their new line of laptops that didn't even offer a CD/DVD drive thereby pushing users to do their file saving using cloud services.


How about Netflix? or RedBox? Look what those two companies are doing to the video rental industry. Are they not making money because they are doing it differently (which happens to be the argument of the traditionalists)? Not at all. Both of these companies have found ways of getting a product consumers want into their hands without the need to build one of the more traditional brick and mortar retail stores stocked with product and employees.

Is it really worth going to war over.
The way I see it is that the "Shoot and Share" business model is a disruptive innovation and for that reason has caused such a visceral reaction by some who might be susceptible to losing business because of it. Sadly, some who feel threatened think it's best to go on the attack, "declare war" and try to sway as many photographers as possible to their side of the battle field. Often they will ask you to sign up for their email newsletter, "Like" their Facebook page, or buy their coaching so they can show you the "correct" way to operate your business. Does fighting with one another do anyone any good? Does it really help to sling mud, call each other names, and waste our time writing or reading blog posts that are full of hate? It's sad to see our industry is filled with so much hate. I understand why bloggers/coaches write this kind of stuff, it gets a reaction. It gets shared and liked, they get applauded, they feel good for the week as they see the number of site visitors climb. In the blogging world we call it "click bait."

Why waste time fighting when you could be growing your business instead?
So, do photographers really need to waste time kicking, clawing and screaming at one another? Absolutely not. Find a model that works best for you and OWN IT. Let me give you an example of a business that has stuck to its traditional ways and is thriving by marketing this difference. The financial company Edward Jones has been around for a long time. Their business has always been to hire a representative for an area, build a small office for them right in the heart of town and then make that representative available to locals for help with their financial services, 401k rollovers, savings accounts and more. Many financial companies started out the same way but as the internet made it possible for people to trade stocks online most financial service companies followed suit and began offering the same service. Edward Jones however held steady. They did not change their business model. Instead they decided to do what in the business terms we call "disrupt the disrupter." They began marketing themselves as some place different. Edward Jones knew their business model, who their customer is, and what that customer considers valuable. Rather than trying to publicly fight other financial companies telling them how they are doing business all wrong, Edward Jones has separated themselves by showing people they are simply different and if you like that business model that revolves around a face to face interaction and a handshake versus a mouse click than you are a perfect fit.

Fstoppers Shoot and Share Edward Jones

In conclusion
If you believe that selling prints to your clients is the best way to serve them then by all means stick to your beliefs and do what you love! Find a way to market yourself so that those who value those services find you and together you'll make a perfect match one for another. Stop wasting time drawing battle lines and instead focus your energy on your business. The same goes for those who enjoy the "Shoot and Share" business model. Sure you can highlight your differences but don't try to tell traditional photographers that they don't know what they are doing. Many of them feel comfortable with their structure of doing business and have been doing it for sometime. If someone tries to waste your time with hateful speech about one business model or another, move on, hell, run as fast as you can away from them. Instead look for those who will help you understand the benefits of each model and then choose the one that works best for you. Lastly, don't sit comfortably thinking your business model will stay the same forever - remember disruptive innovation is always changing things - and in order to be successful you need to be on top-of-your-game knowing what is new and how to adopt it into your business, differentiate yourself from it, or die.

Here are some links to articles I have referenced in the article.
Harvard Business Professor - Clayton Christensen
Responses to Disruptive Strategic Innovation
The Photographer's Business Coach
Reinventing Your Business Model
Disruptive Innovation Explained - Video

Trevor Dayley's picture

Trevor Dayley ( was named as one of the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the US in 2014 by Brandsmash. His award-winning wedding photos have been published in numerous places including Grace Ormonde. He and his wife have been married for 15 years and together they have six kids.

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Previous comments

Agreed, being a PROFESSIONAL is a lot different than just being able to do it. it's how you handle your business that will keep people coming back. Take being a mechanic for instance. Something that is a necessity for anybody owning a car. There are professional shops, and there are backyard mechanics. Personally I have been both. Taking your car to mechanic that has a proper business instills a lot of trust and I think that is where people are falling short with this new wave "professional" photographers. They are good artists, not good professionals.

Make your money where you need to, but you cannot resist the change from the masses, this movement isn't coming, it's already here. You have to learn to adapt. People were SOOOO against digital for the better part of ten years until all these seminars and stuff started popping up with how amazing and more productive it is. Now look, film is nostalgic.

Change is scary, but if your are establishes, savy (at least enough to seek help) you'll survive. Otherwise you'll wake up one day with no customers because you refused to change and everybody went to another professional that made THEIR lives easier.

Bottom line is, this is a business and you have to treat it as such, this means adapting to new ideas even if it scares you.

I understand both sides of the story, however, In this day and age, People want to have access to the images. They want to share their photos everywhere, not just in their living room. If photographers want to stick to the old technique of selling thats up to them, but times are changing and they will be left behind if they dont get with the change.

can someone please explain in detail what the shoot and share is, I have been shooting for 2 years now and never heard of such a thing, than again, many of the issues surrounding photographers are new to me. I guess with my client base, i take shots, choose the ones that i will edit, than load them to smugmug, and the clients can now choose prints or packages, this is for my non paying clients when i started, believe it or not, i made anywhere from $1200-1500 from non paying clients, although they were given a free cd in exchange for their services, They still wanted pictures on their walls or albums.

"Shoot and Share" is a fancy way of saying shoot to burn...

Photography is a service industry, and consumers will go to those with the services they want, plain and simple. If they want good prints, they'll go to someone who does that. If they want engagement photos to post on facebook (everyone), they'll go to a photographer who does that.

If someone wants to cry a river about their lost print revenue, they can have fun crying in the corner by themselves because they're simply offering a service no one wants, and no one cares if they fail except themselves... they're digging their own grave, let them die in it.

I think a non print based model works fine for weddings. Most photographers that I know of follow this model very closely while also charging for prints.

However, one question that I've never seen an answer to is--how can a portrait business survive without making money on prints? I'm thinking someone that isn't doing other jobs or surviving off of a spouse's income.

We would all like to be able to charge 1300-2000 for a portrait session, but how many people would pay that up front? They've seen pictures that they like from you, but that's a TON of trust to put forward before you get anything. With the traditional business model, to succeed you need to provide an experience and create work that's priceless compared to the paper it's printed on. This is how people can charge good money for prints and clients to be 100% happy with paying it.

Very true Jon. Things are also quite different in the commercial field of photography.

To deny the fact that these images will be shared one way or another is where many photographers are going wrong. It is inevitable. Why not adapt your business to profit off of both? It really isn't that hard.

One of the major factors not being mentioned is the difference of
photographers who work solely on location, and those with brick and
mortar studios. The current market is heavy on the work from
home/location photographer. I would say that this is the largest
obstacle for those shoot and share photographers who may wish to use
print ordering as their model. In a physical studio one can display the
products being sold create a proper sales environment etc. If they are
traveling to a clients location or public location this display and
sales method is very much hindered. I know it isn't impossible for the
photographer without the studio, it just may be a contribution factor

Absolutely Rob. Huge factor. Thank you for mentioning this.

I am a shoot and share photographer and I am proud to say I am. I am here to serve my clients and provide them with the utmost of service and quality although I am not be making tons of money I have been able to build a HUGE referral network based on the services I provide. Because I am willing to share my images with other vendors quickly I am also able to book more weddings from it because they want to be able to see images of their hard work and show it off. If your clients are happy your business will never suffer.

Who the hell still plays DVD's? Who prints any more? Who has the bandwidth to tie up their tme with printing? Especially when that time can go into getting new clients, improving the portfolio, or shooting one extra session etc. Your competing against print servcies that have 1000x the scale that you do, and your clients are infomed to that fact. We're in the age were full movies and weddings are being shot on the iphone, where content and content production have been democratized for all, and less and less younger people even have the desire or frankly the need for print-they are digital natives, and think and act differently. Innovate or die. Relying solely on a print centric business model is as dead as print itself.

Hmmm... I just made $6000 in 3 days on prints.

would you care to share your experience and info?

We just shot for a local ballet studio. We took all the formal pictures, and the pictures of the year end recital.

We offered both a digital option and prints, we sold $1800 worth of digital files and $6000 worth of prints.

The "Young, share only people" want their pictures on water bottles, calendars, iPhone cases, posters and even as little statues.

People don't want prints? What people?

Why not take your average print order profit and just add it to your session cost and get with the times of "shoot and share". I see the trend of iphone photos showing up online the same day as the wedding and the customer is starting to want their photos immediately. Expectations have changes in our industry, change with it or be left in the dust. Our photos should be better then the iPhone photo but people are expecting the digital copies and they want them the day before the event happened :)

And the dinosaurs will go down, kicking and screaming, into the night.

I am a shoot and share photographer for a couple of different reasons. #1. It's simple. I don't like to complicate things. I have the option of purchasing prints through me and my lab, but I don't push that, mainly because I don't feel comfortable trying to sell products. But the option is there. #2. It just makes more sense to me, and the way I run my business. I want people to value ME and not the prints. I charge enough for my sessions to cover all business costs and then some.

This model just works well for me and my business. it's okay that it's not for everyone. People should be able to run their businesses in peace.

Trevor, this is a brillantly worded article. Thanks for bringing some sanity to a crazy few days.

I am one of those "shoot and share" photographers. I am not a salesperson. I quite frankly sucked at it when I was younger and in retail, which is why I knew I never wanted a job where I had to sell products to people. I hate when people do it to me. I take the same approach to my business. There are much bigger battles to be had then arguing with someone why they can get a print at Costco for .19 but I charge $25 ( and yes I used to do this... it did not work) .. I understand its the Art, It's the time, etc...... yes.. So I changed my business model... charge what I need to make up front ( for my time, etc).. and include albums and have an a-la-carte where they can buy canvases, etc.

SO using PASS makes SO much sense to me. The print sale aspect is a bonus, I quite frankly don't even worry about it. The layout is gorgeous, the ease of use fantastic and I can save the horrible trips to the post office and mailing Dvd's. I am loyal to brands.. and have been a showit user for many years.. customer service is bar none...So for me it was a no brainer.

I just think life is TOO short to be having these massive internet wars. :)

Edited to add: for portrait photographers I can understand where this program doesn't work for you, if you rely on back end print sales and so using a different program makes more sense.

I have always run my business as a "shoot and share" photographer, long before the term became something that people argued about. I find that my clients expect the digital files and I include the price for them in my session fee. Most of my clients have come to me for prints because I can get them professional quality photos and I don't believe in charging like crazy for them. That's what I would expect as a consumer and I am glad to offer it to them. I use PASS for it's look, ease of use and I love the gift prints option.

This isn't something that everyone has to do, you have to do what is best for you, your business and your life. But I think it would be better for everyone, if you just accepted that whatever way you operate is not the end all be all and that's okay. Take a deep breath and find something better to focus your energies on. Thank you Trevor for posting this article!

I do a lot of shoot and share photography because it's the model I look for as a photography client. When my wife and I got married we specifically looked for a photographer who would give us the images on disc, because we had no desire to print them out. We wanted them for a rather nice digital frame that cycles them all and hangs in our foyer and for sending out in emails and sharing on Facebook, et al. We did eventually print a couple of them to hang on the walls, but for us (and most of my clients) it's about having the memories and being able to access them in the way that is most convenient for us. It's far easier for me to whip out my phone (which is with me everywhere), zip through a couple pages and then pull up the exact image I'm looking for than to have to store and lug out old photo albums from the closet.

Shoot and share is simply the new reality, for a new generation that is already very used to having most of their information stored and shared in a digital world. People will always print pictures, but its just not a requirement to do so anymore to enjoy them.

This is a great article Trevor! As a new shoot and share photographer I find the utmost
value in providing clients with the best experience possible. I find value in my time and what I do, so I personally think that by providing someone with a service and then charging
them a large sum of money for them to then enjoy what I was hired to do is not
giving them the experience they deserve. Why not charge them for your service and make it worth your time so you don’t have to be charging them extra for additional prints? When a client gets
excited that they get their prints for $1 and I’ve already made the money I need
to pay bills off my service then It’s a win win.. they share the love by
showing off prints and sharing photos to their facebook account and in return I
get more business.

I enjoyed this article. I'm honestly an in between. I do push for print
sales but at the same time I know what my market wants and I offer it.
Right now, my market wants digitals and they can have them for a price
(just like if they want prints). They pay for what they want, I make
money, they get what they want either way. Simple as that. I'd rather
them have a digital file to use for their profile image rather than
(illegally) scanning a print anyway. Makes my work look better in the

The comment section slightly exploded, so I might be repeating what other people have already said. As a full time photographer working on campaigns and editorial stuff I really have to think about how I spend my time. I believe the discussing is also not really about the business model, I think it is about the usage rights. Giving a client the high res digital files, means giving them full usage rights.

I decided not to care too much about the rights.
By just giving my clients and the people in the pictures (models, celebrities, ....) access to high res digital files without any nasty watermarks I save myself a lot of trouble.
I do not have to spend time communicating about prints, digital copies for facebook or whatever.
I do not have to spend time billing them for every tiny thing. I can do what I love => photography

I charge them once and keep it very simple. They pay my time, and the amount of hours it takes me to process the images. I also charge a lot for this. Enough for it to include usage rights and everything.

Keeping the price up also means a lot of people decide not to hire me. Which in turn saves me a lot of trouble. I filter out the people who in the traditional model would just buy 5 or 6 tiny prints. My clients by definition pay for the full package. In return I also get the time to make the best of every job. This is very rewarding for my portfolio.

By not caring about the rights and setting my price high I have focussed my business on making the best possible images and in the last two years I have gone from being a student to shooting national campaigns almost weekly. This is applicable to wedding photography, events,.... By charging more you can also do more. You can spend more time on photoshop or shooting, you can bring a second shooter, or hire/buy special gear. You get away with charging more because the client gets what he wants without any surprise charges.

Romain, love hearing how you applied the model to your genre of photography as well. Awesome!

Fortunately, I had my own wedding two months before I became a photographer. So I had the advantage of being a bride looking for a wedding photographer herself before becoming one. I used that perspective to set-up my business model. As a bride, I didn't care about prints, albums, canvases, any of that. All I wanted was digital files. The photographer I ended up hiring had a combination of both models but because I knew I didn't care for any products, I booked her package that only included coverage, editing and digital files. I've decided to base my business model on what I wanted as a bride. I give clients the option to purchase products, but I don't focus on them. I'm a shoot and share photographer all the way and am about to have my 3 year anniversary. I've made money the last two years and don't feel anywhere near going out of business since I've already booked the half-way point of the amount of weddings I want for 2014. Clearly, my market wants the digital files, and I'm willing to give that to them.

Thanks for an impartial voice amid the shouting from both sides, Trevor. You're too right, choose the business model you want to use and own it. Period. Keep up the great work :)

I shoot & share for weddings, charging between €1,000 - €1,200 for the day(I also offer prints, framed prints, canvasses, albums etc. afterwards). I'm just wondering have any photographers been approached about shooting for facebook? i.e shooting specifically for a small business' facebook page. I'm getting more and more requests for this kind of thing from local B&Bs, shops or even make up artists. I never really know what to charge so I just go by the hour. Just wondering if anybody has any better idea on how to charge for this service?

I am a shoot and share FILM photographer. Yes FILM. Shoot and share does not mean shoot and burn. I provide a high quality experience for my clients with the end results being stunning artwork for their walls and heirloom pieces to hand down to their grandchildren. And the digital files. Because I want them to have those as much as they want them. I charge 5-8k for weddings and portrait type session on film start at $1500 for a session and 30-50 files (with proof prints as well). I make excellent money to support my family in a manner where we want for not much at all. You can be a successful, sustainable shoot and share photographer. It's more a mindset of how you approach business than anything else. I prefer the vast majority of my clients to pay for the experience upfront and know what they are getting. I also educate them that the digital files are for small gift prints and storage (just in case) and if they want art they come to me. And they do! I do not want to do in person sales post wedding or session because it doesn't fit my life with two small children. I do what works best for me. I hate seeing shoot and share photographers being berated for "ruining" the industry. Just how exactly are my high end film weddings ruining your business? Do I care if Aunt Susie buys 50 4x6 prints off PASS (yes I use PASS)? Nope. I am happy I don't have to self fulfill that. And frankly I NEVER made post wedding sales from family or friends of the couple when using a different system and charging more. I've made a few hundred already from the crazy low priced prints, which doesn't sustain my business (and I don't need it to) but it's been better than the $0 I made before!

Great article Trevor, it really doesn't make any sense for photographers to be in-fighting with each other. We as photographers should know that each and every couple are different and that there are couples out there for everyone, that is why so many wedding photographers are able to sustain their businesses. Keeping your couples happy is the main thing. Personally I hand over a disc with images on as I don't agree with charging people twice for their wedding photography. I do however also offer a print service and explain that the quality of the prints I offer is far superior than what they will get elsewhere. That said, the print lab I use can be used by the public as well as trade so it's not some cloak and dagger operation. It's a shame some of the comments below have fallen into the traps you have talked about, the in-fighting with each other.

Shoot and Share "photogs" can all suck it! YOU are destroying the business and our future. This is coming from an educated photographer from Brooks Institute of Photography, someone who works in the industry and in a struggling Professional Photo Lab.

This is so great Trevor!! Well said.

I'm a Shoot & Share Photographer and I'm damn proud of it. I've built my business on the idea of providing a unique experience with me. The exact experience with me can't be found elsewhere. As people can't copy who I am. My clients pay a higher cost up front for this experience. I build a relationship with them to have to a real relationship with them. Not to just get them to trust me and buy more on the backend. And by charging more up front I'm not crossing my fingers for a big order at the end. Instead I'm enjoying the time with my clients. And in the end I provide them with beautiful images to remember the experience. And I do it in a way that is easy for them to share it with their friends and family.

Do I offer products? Absolutely. If my clients request them, they are definitely available for them. I just haven't built my business to make a larger portion of money from them, it's not my personal focus. However there is nothing wrong with those that do. We all are different, we shouldn't all have to offer the same thing.

I agree whole-heartedly with the article and appreciate seeing others who want to see and industry being kind to one another rather than tearing each other down.

Thank you for this awesome article Trevor! I am a shoot and share photographer! I charge my clients what I need to make up front so there aren't any surprises. They can still certainly purchase high quality artwork pieces from me, but in the end they get all their photos. I shoot, then I share. Plain and simple. It works for me. <3

timely post.. the wife and I were discussing this very issue last night... I took photos of a local children's sports team... and was trying to work out what to charge for prints/downloads.... Do you charge a premium and sell 1? or make it affordable and sell a bunch? And which one will evolve into more work?
I work really hard at my photography... but increasingly I am confronted with.. "oh.. how much?.. Its ok, my uncle has a camera"

FANTASTIC Article Trevor! I'm happy to say that I am a Shoot & Share photographer, while I service my clients completely with every option that a Shoot to Sell photographer would. My main goal is to always have my prices for products set at a price that I can easily justify and explain to my clients and they will completely understand why they are set at what they are. I treat my clients like I know I would want to be treated when it comes to investing in a portrait session. I would LOVE to hear how many photographers out there have recently PAID for a photo session for themselves or their family. What was your experience with this? How did you go about choosing your photographer? How happy were you with their business model and how much you paid for what you got?

I am happy to say that my wife and I just had a couple's session done with a photographer that we admire. We paid full price, even tipped him. We've been blown away with the sneak peeks he's given us the day after the shoot, and we're excited to see the rest of the images. We're happy that he'll be sending us the digital files through an online system, and we will quickly put those images up on a PASS Event so they are safe in the cloud. Just wanted to share my experience from the client side recently, and from the photographers side.

I wouldn't classify you as a 'Shoot & Share' photographer, Matt. Just like myself, you sell products in addition to digital images.

That's a full-service photographer.

I totally agree that we are full service photographers bseaman112! That's what a Shoot and Share photographer is. I provide a full service to my clients, and the digitals ARE included in the original price, so everything else product wise is extra. I really hope we're not still confusing this with Shoot and Burn, which is definitely different.

Shoot & Share does not convey shoot, share, and sell product, to me. DJ himself recently posted a video about how the Shoot & Share model is for togs who don't like selling; so by that logic if you sell product, you wouldn't fit his definition. Is there a reason that you promote yourself as Shoot & Share? (I personally advertise myself as a professional Wedding & Lifestyle photographer)

Personally I think these labels that we are slapping on ourselves/businesses are a bunch of crap. I'm not sure if Shoot & Share was coined by DJ, but he's certainly run with it, and unfortunately has used it to pit photographers against one another.

It's almost like religions, which makes sense considering DJs use of God in his marketing and evangelist-like practices.

I think the entire industry would be much better off if we stripped these labels.

That's a valid perception of it...I don't like selling, but I do sell products to my clients so they get the best possible options. That's just the most important thing, that they're options and that I'm not taking advantage of them with the price. I would say that the correct definition of a Shoot and Share photographer is that they shoot, share & service. Service being that they don't leave the client hanging in any way for products, they offer them reasonable solutions for what they might want. I think there's a difference in the "selling" approach when you're servicing your clients rather than selling to them.

As for the title, I wouldn't say that I ever use it as a label for myself...but in the context of this article I felt like it was justified. I'm not going to be putting it on my website as a label or anything :) I'm honestly not really joining the conversation about all of this very much as I'm more than happy just continuing to run my business and service my clients...that's taking up all my time right now anyways.

Love the discussion, but I'm also happy to stay out of it when it's talking about people personally.

Well, in all fairness, very few people actually enjoy the act of selling; but like you say, in the context of fully servicing clients, it doesn't feel like selling if you're doing it right (including products in packages, providing a creative consultation after the session in which clients ask for your advice on products, etc.)

On the other side of the coin, I think by nature most people in business for themselves do enjoy selling themselves. I can't tell you how excited I get to sit down with a new potential couple and tell them about myself, while answering their questions (it's selling, though it doesn't feel like it). I think sales carries a stigma, likely from the awful used car salesmen, telemarketers, etc. Reality is that we are all salespeople in one sense or another.

I just really hate the titles and wish people (including yourself, Trevor, Katelyn James, and a bunch of other Showiteers) would just drop it, cease using it all together. I mean, you've got to have experiences where you get attacked as soon as you mention that you are a s&s tog. (I personally don't do that, but a lot of others do and I can't necessarily blame them, as DJ has unintentionally created a stigma around the term)

I get why people use it, it's catchy, it rolls off the tongue, it's 'Rockstar-ish', but moreso than anything it's created a lot of drama out of nothing, and really for no reason.

Let's just be photographers who love what we do and love serving our clients. I'm confident that if the term died off, so would 90% of the fighting.

I really appreciate your conversation, not all 'Shoot & Share' photographers are as willing to have open discussion.

Couldn't agree more with all of this! It's like saying are you metro or preppy? Dude, I just like to dress well! Haha. No need for the labels, which is why I could care less about them. If people stopped caring so much about them they would go away, if they went away, people would stop caring about them. Love your point of view man!

Agreed :D

I'm my own style, I like to look great and do great work!

Now if we could just get a certain someone to stop labeling photographers....

Hahaha, good luck with that one :)

I don't let it bother me too much, but do attest when people come to his defense. 99% of the criticism/attacks he receives could be avoided if he didn't instigate; unfortunately he and his business seem to thrive on it.

Any press is good press, right?

If you are not charging at least $15 per 4x6 miniature (better $45) you not making money and are doing charity work for everyone. You are also doing a disservice to the profession. Digital, while opening up new approaches, has sullied the entire industry by lazy photographers or poor business or ignorant people. The purpose of a photograph is capture a moment or create an image that will have an impact for years to come. It is critically important to have a physical representation created for accessibility. That it exists in only the ether.of some client's possession or hidden beyond visible recall in some electronic form is a tragic loss. .

Shoot and share photographers make money by charging more upfront. Income is not lost by doing this. Clients pay more for them because their talent is undeniable. They pay for the experience. More and more S+S photographers are more interactive with their clients. They send them gifts. They make the entire process welcoming and fun for their clients. The photographers' clients like that they are getting a full experience, and they pay more for it. Profit isn't being lost there.

This is the first I've heard of the term "Shoot and Share." Jazzed that title up, didn't we? I'm not sure if this were mentioned or not....But, an example of why I don't give people the disc of their photos is that I had a high school senior (a relative) that received her photos on a disc from me, took them to Walgreens and made her graduation invite there. It looked horrible because obviously she, nor Walgreens, has any kind of art/design background. Then, while it was up on the front of my fridge, I watched it turn a greenish/yellow. I was cringing knowing that people knew that I was the photographer (and potentially the one that made that thing). Not to mention she brought some photos into some "editing" program and changed many of them; cropping, "artistic" colors added, etc...and proudly posted them on Facebook and tagged my business and my name. Aaaaaagh!
Now, maybe a contract could solve this with the average client? (but, in this case it was a relative) Not sure what photographers do to stop that. Either way, I offer every latest and greatest item that a client could want or request - prints, albums, metals, canvas, and images for Facebook or other social media sites. I send in the photo for their wedding announcement and yearbook photos and design/print cards and invites. I guess I'm a control freak. But, I think I have invested too much time, money and hard work to not follow through from beginning (meeting) to the end (corrected, professional prints). Harder than giving away a disc? Yes. But, I do not want my name on photos that someone has altered and reproduced, which is easily done with the digital images. Again...control freak I suppose. :) So, if someone asks me if I give the digital prints, I ask them why they want them...and usually I can tell them why they DON'T. :)

Rae you bring up a valid point. Not all printers put out quality product and I am sorry you had that experience. That would be a bummer to see. One thing I have done that clients have appreciated is I have told them if they would like to get some prints done they can order quality products from

I send my clients through Shootproof and they do a great job. (edited and uploaded by me) I'm just not sure how to make sure that clients with a disc in their hands don't go the quick and easy 'el cheapo route! Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like the people that are insistent about the disc are less likely to care about quality. (I may be wrong...but that's my experience) Just had a mom tell me that she wants the bride and groom's disc of photos. I asked why and she said she wants to scrapbook them. I don't think I need to say more...

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