8 (or 9) simple things you can do to be a good friend to a photographer.

How to be a good friend to a photographer:

1. Hire us. That doesn’t mean invite us to your son’s birthday and ask if we’re bringing our camera, or asking for “just a few pictures” while we’re having a playdate at the park. (We’ll probably be taking pictures anyway.)

2. Give us credit. Just one tag on social media can bring in 4 to 5 inquiries. And once you do have your gallery and share images from that, giving proper credit to the photographer is always appreciated.

3. Don’t filter us. Believe it or not, we spend hours editing your images so they look their best, and an IG filter will not do a better job than a PROFESSIONAL, I promise. If you must have a certain "look" for your feed, find a photographer that will give you that look.

4. Share images directly from our page, rather than saving them and posting them yourselves. Not only does that hurt the quality, which social media does well enough all on it’s own, but it takes away the direct link to our page, which can make us lose out on inquiries.

5. Interact on our page. When you Like or Comment on a photo on our page, it shows that you’re interested and in turn, Facebook will show our work to you more often. It will also show it to your friends, which can lead to inquiries. (If you haven’t noticed, inquiries are a big deal to us.)

6. Pay us. Unless we offer to work for free, please don’t expect it. Most of us give pretty good deals to our friends/family as it is, but we have bills to pay too. Legitimate photographers have quite a few monthly bills/fees that we pay, on top of continuing our education to better your images, keeping our equipment current and in running order to better your images, and things like liability insurance to protect you, in case something happens while we are working for you.

7. Don’t judge us, please. Many of us, especially documentary/lifestyle photographers share lots of images of our kids. Being told that you “would never put your kids out there like that” is hurtful and rude. And yes, you have every right to feel that way, but this is our art and our passion, and I promise you, we question ourselves enough everyday already.

8. Love us. We're busy. A lot of us work around everybody else's schedule. We sacrifice sleep (and sometimes family time) to do our work. We don't take days off, or get paid vacation. We don't get maternity leave or lunch breaks. We thrive on coffee and hugs.

BONUS: Use our images as your profile image (it makes us do happy dances)!