Many, many years ago I went out on a date with a guy I met while working out. These days, the most interesting thing I pick up at the gym is a magazine! I love to see what other people leave there, usually it's Shape, or Entertainment Weekly. Last week someone left Photo District News (pdn),
a trade magazine for photographers. As coincidence would have it, they left “The Wedding and Portrait Issue,” full of advice for wedding photographers.
Since I usually read and write things for and from the couple’s perspective, it was fascinating to read something designed to help a wedding vendor
One article suggested that wedding photographers think about building a long-term relationship with couples so that as those newlyweds grow their families, their wedding photographer becomes the natural choice for pregnancy, baby, and family portraits.
The article had several ideas for how a photographer should build his or her portfolio of portraits, including offering to shoot friends and family for free. Another article about growing your business by attracting gay wedding clientele
similarly suggested that photographers consider offering free services to friends and family.
So, all this has me wondering, for photographers, how common is it for a photographer to have photos of non-paying clients in his or her portfolio?
For couples, do you think all the photos your photographer showed you were actual clients? Would it make a difference if you found out that photos were staged, not taken during a wedding?
For everyone, is this an acceptable business practice? Does it matter, after all a good photo is a good photo? Is this just way too much thinking for a Monday morning?