An Open Letter to Meet & Greet Photographers

Dear Meet & Greet Photographer,

I write to you as a photographer myself. Not only do I know how to take a good quality photo, but it is very important to me. Often times I find myself angry at you for being so clueless and lacking concern for the photos you are taking. Some of you clearly just don’t care… (In that case, move over, I would like your job!)

I work for a radio station and often find myself taking meet and greet photos at shows, and you know what I do? I LOOK at every single image after I take it. Why? To make sure that no ones eyes are closed, no one is looking in an odd direction, it’s clear in focus, properly lit, etc. It takes an extra second for a quick glance, and if an issue is spotted, guess what? I correct it!

What angers me the most, is that now artists are charging a lot of money for VIP experiences before their shows and fans choose to pay for this mainly because they want a nice photo souvenir. As a paying customer, especially when some of these super-fans pay $100-$200 for this experience, I would hope to hell that you at least know what you are doing behind a camera and how to use one properly. For instance, in low lighting settings, USE A FLASH. No one wants a dark, shadowy, grainy image after paying $200.

Artists, please make sure that you have someone who knows how a camera functions running these Meet & Greets. So many times I see photos posted where the fan has their eyes closed. Do you know how simple it would have been to check the photo you just took and then ask for a second one to correct the problem? Oh maybe 3 seconds of your time and it would mean the world to a fan who would be otherwise devastated because they’ve been waiting 5 years to meet their favorite artist and finally get a photo with them… only to discover their eyes are closed.

I’ve always felt passionate about this, and recently it has happened to me (as well as every other person who was photographed that day). I would like to share with you my once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity with both Thomas Rhett and Brett Eldredge. Do you see how I am in Thomas’ shadow? This is due to a poorly lit venue and lack of flash. Low lighting? Turn on the darn flash, people.

TR and BE BangorThankfully, as a photographer, I am also savvy at editing and was able to make it look a LITTLE bit better, but there is really no excuse for this. Here are a few other examples…

1. Blurry. Why? Because low lighting without a flash creates the need for a slower shutter speed to allow more light into the lens. The slightest movement will disrupt and blur your image. Either hold the damn camera still, or, brilliant… TURN ON THE FLASH!DSC01505-XL-bad photo example2

2. Eyes closed. There is really no excuse for this. Apparently this is a special photo for this girl, since it was taken with ONLY Brett AND she gave him a gift. MAKE HER PHOTO WORTH IT. I would demand a refund for this experience!! Honestly, I would literally write a letter asking for my money back and another meet and greet photo at an upcoming show. I hope this girl did just that!DSC01507-bad photo example

3. Again, blurry and camera shake. REALLY?!?!?!? Honestly. Where did you hire this guy? And why, exactly, does he still have a job?!?!DSC01527-XL- REALLY are you kidding me

4. Oh, here’s a classic. Tall man, small child. ROTATE THE CAMERA! TURN IT! You know, FILL THE FRAME. Don’t cut off the child at her shoulders. This photo should have been taken portrait instead of landscape. Any photographer (and 50% of average people!) know this simple trick…short kid tall man TURN THE CAMERA

I’m getting worked up all over again. These just happen to be from the Suits and Boots Tour but in my experience I have seen this many, many, many times and every time it upsets me a little more. I know this isn’t only because I’m a photographer. I know non-photographers are displeased with these types of images as well.

Please feel free to share your thoughts about this topic and maybe someday we can all make a difference. I want to hug each and every person who is devastated with their once-in-a-lifetime photo. Honestly. I promise you that if I were the one behind the camera, it would have come out awesome!



4 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Meet & Greet Photographers

  1. Thank you! I have just been asked to do my first meet and greet by a local radio station. I’m actually pumped. Yeah I have a flash and yes I will totally use it. Eyes being closed are my bigger fear. I appreciate all your comments and am just going i with my fingers crossed that I do a job that is worth the $ they paid….lol even if as a photographer I don’t see any of that $.

  2. Hey, thought I’d let you know that my meet and greet from clear back in March went pretty good. Only one photo turned out not as good (not bad but not great) due to the number of people they wanted me to photograph in a very short time. The first group it took me forever to get them to get close together so I could get the shot and one guy didn’t want to get too close to the others and ended up having one arm cut off in the photo….he was also the only one with no smile. This also let me to be able to shoot the standard three songs per band at the concert…and 4 months after I was called up by the radio station that invited me to shoot this event to shoot an arena rock concert! It was such a rush and they want me to come back and do more!!! Thanks again for the advise!

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