Two separate incidents prompted me to write this blogpost. The first one was a fellow photographer asking me why I present an hourly rate to my clients for renting my equipment and what I would do if a client would not want to rent it. “Go there without a camera?” he asked me, “Yes” is my answer. And the second one was me being involved in a shoot, without even touching a camera.
First: why clients can rent my equipment
It costs money. Depreciation, maintenance, insurance. However, some of my clients do not need me to bring anything because they own photography equipment themselves. Sometimes because I have helped them set up an in-house photography department where one or two of their employees take photographs and they occasionally call me in for a job. I am more than happy to shoot with the stuff I advised them to buy in the first place.
Second: a shoot without touching the camera
Sometimes people need a little confirmation and / or education. When the stakes are slightly higher than usual, for example when two fine cooks come over to create some material for an ad-campaign, I can come over and help the parties involved, rather than shoot it myself leaving them passive and none the wiser. This particular shoot for instance the photographer and I discussed the types of shots needed and wanted and possible extras, we discussed angles (the space had some constraints regarding backgrounds) and then I set up the lighting in the mean time telling her what I was doing and why.
When the happy subjects arrived the photographer was able to work confidently and shoot some great photographs. I intervened a couple of times to direct the cooks, who started referring to me as the strange fellow in the owl-sweater, before she got the hang of that too. This is win-win because it builds the confidence of the person holding the camera and it spreads knowledge.
This thing can most adequately be described as Photography consultancy I think, since I am not a full blown art-director and I have specific technical knowledge of photography and related equipment. Or maybe there is a better word for it?