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Collaborating with a designer

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  • Collaborating with a designer

    Hey All,

    I'm looking for some expert advice on a topic that I'm not an expert on.

    A friend of mine is a designer (college educated) working in the field. She approached me several months ago about an idea she has for a fashion blog and asked if I would be the photographer for it. After hearing a little bit about the idea, naturally I said yes! I thought it would be a great way for me to work on my skills and challenge myself.

    After sometime I've become a bit confused on how this "role" should work. Often times when I edit a photo and send it off to her to post she'll ask me to adjust something (add/remove certain colors or hues), one time she even cropped one that I submitted. She would also pick all the pictures after a shoot for me to edit, with little input from me. I have to admit I was a bit miffed.

    All in all my question is, as a freelance photographer that's doing "free" work for this blog (for a friend), how do I DO what she wants but yet maintain my own artistic creativity in the process? And after explaining this what does it seem like my role really is? She calls it a collaboration, but it doesn't seem to be that way....???

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I may be mistaken but a "collaboration" should result in a benefit for both parties. She is benefiting from your professional quality images for her website/blog, so the question becomes are the viewers and readers of said site your potential market/client's? If they aren't, it's not what I would call a collaboration.

    I would say what i would call it, but you get the idea


    • #3
      Sounds bogus - what are you actually getting out of this? Blogs are a dime a could just as easily start your own and post your work as you intend it to be presented, without all the bs.

      Working with friends/family can be a dangerous road to travel...more than often it ends up with one or both people less than happy, to put it mildly.

      Is she generating an income from the blog somehow? If so, you should be getting a percentage.

      Maybe you could link us to the blog? - photo & design

      Twitter - @KevanMorin


      • #4
        Originally posted by moreinmind View Post
        Sounds bogus - what are you actually getting out of this
        The only thing I feel like I'm getting out of this, is practice. Practice with the camera and practice editing. I like doing the fashion aspect of it, and it's generally hard to find willing participants that will pose for free (at least here where I live). But I will try harder and look into that more.

        No I'm not getting paid for anything, but her goal is to eventually make money off of it. I believe that she in fact will end up making money and will take it somewhere. But my gut tells me that it's just not the right fit for me....


        • #5
          I think this is what happens when you get two artistic people working (collaborating) on a project. She wants to mold your photographs into what her vision is. She assumed you'd be okay with that. She assumed wrong. It all goes back to managing expectations (business photography 101) You should be getting something out of this... maybe she can design a website or logo for you. Just have a meeting with her and let her know that you need to get something out of this arrangement, and you need to come to terms with artistic editing of the images.
          Rich Spears
          Blog | Flickr | Zenfolio
          Nikon D3s, D700, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm 1.8


          • #6
            I "run" a website with a friend. The plan was that I take care of design and development etc and he provides the bulk of the content - neither of us have had the time to do it properly :P But in our scenario we go 50/50 on the advertising revenue.

            So I do think if you're in a partnership you need to be getting something out of it too. What if Versaci send her a dress to review and keep - I'm guessing she'd be the one that gets to keep that as well right? :P
            Sony a200 Sony a580, Canon 500D, Canon 550D, Canon 600D, Canon 600D


            • #7
              From what I read, she asked if you would be the photographer for her fashion blog...

              This would be like doing a fashion shoot for a magazine/client...and it works exactly like what your experiencing. The client gets to choose the shot(s) used, how they will be used, and how they will be edited. A lot of times the photographer only supplies the "rough images" and someone else entirely does the editing. "How involved" the photographer is is highly variable quite often the idea, outfits, location,etc etc are all dictated to you. Your job is simply to achieve their goals and deliver a "usable image."

              It really isn't as "glamorous/creative/challenging" as they make it seem... And if you're getting nothing out of this but "practice" you might be getting screwed. But then again, maybe it's great practice for you and you need it....
              Last edited by sk66; 01-13-2013, 03:11 PM.
              the Photographic
              SharpShooter Industries
              My 500px, My Flickr, My Blog


              • #8
                sk66 - What you described is exactly what is happening. And like spears stated, the expectations of what is really happening wasn't communicated properly. Kind of a bummer, we both assumed two different things. Poor communication from both ends. Lesson learned here! Thank you all for your input, very much appreciated.


                • #9
                  You should be in charge of photographic and if writing, the editorial content. She should be in charge of the design.
                  (1) EOS 1D MKIII (3) EOS 1D's, (3) EOS1D MKIIs', (1) EOS1Ds MKII, 14mmf2.8, 16-35mmf2.8, 28-70mmf2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, 300mm f2.8 and a 400mmf2.8, (4) 550 EX and 1 580E speedlite, and a Speed a tron studio flash system.