Neeraj Agnihotri is an internationally published Fine Arts and Fashion Photographer in India. This blog is about his life behind the camera. From fashion & boudoir photography to ukulele strumming, and from cinematography to writing, and various other topics; this blog has everything. In Short, The Life Of An Artist.

Can a Photographer’s Reviews and Rating Be Trusted?

Every platform provides a reviewing system these days – be it Google Ratings, Facebook Ratings or other Social Media platforms/portals. If you are the one who easily gets influenced by anyone’s reviews or google rating, you should definitely read this article till the end.

After extensive research, we found out what makes rating and reviewing system flawed.

  1. Even Non-Clients can Rate
    Any person who hasn’t even availed any service can rate/review any artist. Many shopping websites have a better system where they allow you to rate a product only when you have purchased it; but unfortunately, this system hasn’t yet reached the service industry.
  2. Competitors Issue
    Competition in any field is inevitable but the problem comes when the competition takes an unhealthy turn. There are cases where we have noticed many people trying to bring the rating down of their competitor by giving negative reviews and bad ratings. (As we have already told earlier that so far there is no way Google can know whether the person sharing service reviews or ratings was a previous client or not, and thus everyone is allowed to share their ratings.)
  3. Client Issue
    When you’re not satisfied with a shoot, it doesn’t necessarily imply that the issue is from the photographer’s side; sometimes it can be from client’s side as well. We run a candid wedding photography group where people are encouraged to show their work and clients are encouraged to share their requirements requiring any photoshoot they want. There, while approving posts, we encountered two cases of unhappy clients recently. In the first case, it was a woman who complained about her wedding photographer who spoiled her shoot (names of both parties are withheld). We thoroughly checked the scenario and found out that the problem was from photographer’s side and we approved the post to help others to be aware of such issues.

    In a similar second case, we got one more post-approval request from another woman who also complained about her wedding photographer and this time all our examination led us to conclude that there was no problem from the photographer’s side. We didn’t approve this unjustifiable post which was very detrimental for a good photographer who did everything as expected, but she still made all her friends and families to give him one rating that ultimately brought his rating down from 4 to 1. A good artist’s reputation was brought down by a grumpy client of his without any problem from his side. We think these platforms are not for taking your anger or enmity out on a person, it takes years of hard work for an artist to build his reputation.

  4. Different Types of Ratings Merged into One
    In many cases, photographers are running a side by side workshop or classes for interns. What happens, in this case is, that all the reviews and ratings are shared by their students or interns, and not by clients. Photography services and workshop classes are compared on many different factors and thus, ratings can’t coincide.
  5. Fake Reviews/ Bought Reviews
    On all these platforms you can easily make any number of accounts and rate yourself, thus increasing your entire rating. (Same problem, you don’t have to be a client to rate.)

This article is not to bring down anyone as we believe that a healthy competition is required to help each other improve their skill sets and to do better, this article is just to provide information to the audience who are planning to book anyone to be able to take an informed decision irrespective of being influenced by a good or bad rating.

In the end, it’s always good to check the work of an artist, talk to him/her over the phone and decide yourself whether this is the one or not because nobody can argue that – “Work speaks louder than anything – be it ratings, reviews, followers, likes or lists.”

In case you encountered any such issue related to rating or reviews, as a client or as an artist, please let us know in the comments below.

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How relevant are the lists showing best or top fashion, boudoir or wedding photographers?

As I have already been mentioned in many lists, I think I am allowed to talk about this topic without being judged as a grumpy man who is writing about this because he never made it to any of these lists. You will come across lists every day about so many things – be it is best boudoir photographers India, best fashion photographers in Delhi, top wedding photographer of Bangalore or something else. But whenever you see these, also remember few of these below-mentioned points –

  1. Only Opinions
    All these lists are just opinions of various people and opinions are never objective, we have to remember that. I can add Salman Khan as best actor in my list, and you can add Shahrukh Khan at the first position in your list. We both will be having reasons for why he is on our list but none of those reasons can be truly justified as which one is correct and which one is not. If you see these lists, which one are you going to trust more?

  2. Little Biasing is Always There
    We are going to give you two scenarios here to help you understand this. Let’s say there is a journalist who is working on an article about top fashion photographers in the Indian industry. He does little research and makes a list of 10 such photographers but he also has a brother or sister or cousin or nephew or any such family member or friend who is also a fashion photographer, maybe not best. What do you think will happen? Is he going to publish a list of those 10 photographers that he found out after thorough research or is he going to bump one photographer (the unlucky one!) out of the list and make some space for his known one? We all know the answer here.

  3. Paid
    I was having a conversation with one of an experienced marketing professional lately who gained her experience working in many industries. While talking to her about these lists, she told me about how everything is driven by the goal of profit-making and this is responsible for leaving not much space for truth and genuineness. She then talked about how there are many magazine companies that are contacting her every now and then with various proposals, and most of the time it’s paid – not just by paying you will be included in any list, but if you double the amount, you can also have an interview published next to the list. She tells me about one such magazine that has nothing else but only lists based on various make-believe categories so that all the industry players can be included and the magazine company can make some profit out of everyone.
    So, there are very high chances that any list that you read recently was a paid one.

I never say to completely ignore these things, but I say that never judge anyone solely on the basis of these ratings, reviews or lists. Check these also, but then also remember to do your own research. Make your own list of best boudoir photographers, best candid wedding photographers or best fashion photographers and check work of all these photographers from your list, and then take an unbiased and right decision.

Have you ever booked any such artist on the basis of your trust placed in a list and felt disappointed later, please let us know in the comments so that we keep our audience as informed as we can.

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Who Shall I Finalize As My Boudoir Photographer?

  1. Real Boudoir Shoot versus Fashion Portrait Shoot
    You have to remember what do you want in the end: Is it a boudoir shoot you are looking for or just any glamorous shoot? As there is a big difference between the two. We have seen many pictures of a woman in a park, or a woman in street with backless blouse etc categorised as boudoir shoot, but these are not even remotely related to a boudoir shoot, to be honest. These are just portrait shoot, maybe a little glamorous in type, but not at all boudoir shoot. So, when looking for a boudoir photographer, make sure you are booking a real boudoir photographer and not a fashion portrait photographer. 

  2. Don’t Get Influenced by Top or Best Boudoir Photographer List
    Let these lists only help you in checking out the work of few photographers you shortlist from there rather than blindly believing in them. In the end, we suggest you do your own research. (What’s wrong with these top or best boudoir photographer list?)

  3. Don’t Book a Photographer Entirely Based on Ratings and Reviews
    The ratings and reviews system be it on Google, Facebook or anywhere else is very flawed and thus can’t form the sole factor for judging a photographer’s work. (What kind of flaws these ratings and reviews have?)

  4. Misleading Use of Words like Top and Best
    We encountered many business owners who changed their business name completely and made it as Best Fashion Photographer of India or changed their website name to topbudoirphotographerindia.com (This is just an example and the real name is not used here.). Many others claim on their website that they are the best but shall you dare ask on what basis? So, don’t pay much attention to these words and check everyone’s work and decide on your own.

  5. Quality
    In the end, quality of the work is more important than any other thing. You don’t want a boudoir shoot where, in the end, you are disappointed because you didn’t get what you expected. So, check everyone’s work and see which one you like the most. (Does quality come with a price?)

  6. Photography Style
    Book the one whose photography style you love the most. Every photographer has a different style and it is generally visible in their pictures; if that particular way of taking pictures is what you are looking for, you have found yourself a boudoir photographer.

  7. Comfort Level
    The most important thing that you should consider while booking a boudoir photographer is how comfortable he/she makes you feel or how comfortable you find yourself in his/her presence. As this is an intimate shoot and if you feel awkward during the shoot time, your all the pictures will suffer. (How we make our clients feel comfortable on a boudoir shoot?)

  8. Trust
    This is another factor that you have to consider. You have to decide if you can trust this photographer you are interested in with your private boudoir pictures. If you have still doubt, maybe it’s better to either to talk to him or consider a new one.

  9. Experience and Knowledge of the Photographer
    Yes, these are important and why is it so? Because it leads to increased trust that your shoot is in good hands, that you are going to get a quality work.

  10. Be Your own Judge
    Do your own research, make your own list, check out work of your shortlisted photographer and select the one that you like in the end.

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How to get Ready for a Boudoir Shoot?

If you are planning for a boudoir shoot or if your boudoir session’s date is coming close (in case you have already booked); we are going to guide you about how to get ready for a boudoir shoot, and what not do for the session.

  1. Pack Your Favourite Items
    Pack your favourite lingerie, corsets, lace wear, sexy heels, some jewellery, or any other thing that you love and find glamorous. You don’t have to go out shopping for this, if you think you don’t have anything special in your wardrobe, just bring whatever you have and our team will create the magic. In case, you are looking for an excuse to buy something for so long, this session can be the one.

  2. Always Pack Extra
    Always pack extra to avoid any end moment clothing accidents. Add to that, our creative team will surely be able to come up with some ideas to use those items, if not all of them. Don’t be afraid to bring some props

  3. Don’t Stress Yourself Out Thinking of Poses
    If you are spending sleepless hours thinking about how you are going to pose, we ask you to take a break and just chill. We have a creative team solely dedicated for this purpose.  But if you still want to do it then a mirror is the best teacher.

  4. Misfitted Clothes are No Problem
    If your clothes are not fitting you well because of any reason, you can still bring those. We can still try to use those after some adjustments to accentuate the look of your body. We do not limit ourselves to the rigid magazine standards.

  5. Don’t read those fashion magazines
    If you are flipping through a fashion magazine to get some idea, and getting all anxious and stressed out about your own body, we ask you to stop it right now. All body types are beautiful and we know how to take these intimate pictures that flatter your figure and makes you look glamorous.

  6. Beauty grooming is entirely your choice
    If you don’t have time for this, you can just take a shower and come for your boudoir session. But if you want to use this as an excuse to pamper yourself at beauty salons and spas, you can also do that.

  7. Just Chill Before Your Boudoir Session
    People say don’t go out in the sun, or wear tight clothes that will leave scars on your body; we say do whatever you want and enjoy your time before your boudoir shoot. We will take care of the rest.

  8. Most Important Point is Relax
    Relax and be yourself. It will help you to embrace your femininity and your innate sexiness. It’s not an exam, so you don’t have to spend days preparing for this shoot. Our team is here to help you out in any of your difficulty related to this day.

  9. Be Confident
    We call it the success factor of any boudoir session. More you are confident, more it is going to reflect in your pictures.

  10. Bring Your Favourite Music Playlist
    If there is anything that helps you relax, we ask you to bring that. We recommend not to bring gloomy songs. You know what we mean. 🙂

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How Do We Make Our Clients Feel Comfortable During a Boudoir Session?

If a client is uncomfortable during a boudoir session, it’s very tough to capture the perfect images. Add to that, as this shoot is very personal in nature, it’s very much required that the client feels unworried with the photographer and his team. This is supposed to be an enjoyable experience rather than a nerve-wracking one. Here, we are explaining how we achieve that on our shoots –

  1. Extra Time
    We always keep some extra time for these kinds of shoots. Even though time is money in our profession, we never rush through a boudoir shoot. Unlike other fashion shoots that can be finished in 2-3 hours, we never put the same time constraint for our boudoir sessions. None of our shoots is for less than 4 hours because we give our clients enough time to feel comfortable with us. In most case, clients take at least half an hour to get used to the camera and we are okay with that as we know most of them are facing cameras for the first time.

  2. Authority of Pictures lies with Clients
    In these shoots, we generally give the authority for the shoot pictures to the clients. Only if they give permission to us to publish, we use these on our website and other platforms, otherwise, we never use even though the business of a photographer is based on showing his pictures (Alas!).  As the contentment of our clients is of utmost importance to us. In case, you think there are not enough pictures in our boudoir gallery, you know the reason. 🙂

  3. Deletion of Pictures
    Once the shoot is over and the pictures are handed over to the client, we let our clients decide whether they want us to keep their pictures or not. If they want, we don’t mind even deleting everything from our side.

  4. Good Location
    We always book a good studio for this shoot, so that not to add to the nervousness of our client. A place that is at a safe location and gives positive vibes.

  5. Only Photography Team Allowed
    We allow only people who are working on this shoot to be present at the time of the shoot and no one else. It might involve a stylist, a makeup artist, a photographer (of course!), a creative director and maybe an assistant.

  6. Clients can Bring Friend or Partner
    If having your best friend or your husband by your side makes you feel more comfortable and secure, you are allowed to do that.

  7. Professional and Experienced Team
    We are the first ones who started these types of shoots in India, so we have been doing it for quite some time now.  None of our clients ever faced any uncomfortable moment with us. Our team is very helpful in making you feel relaxed with their easy-going conversations.

  8. Being Sensitive with Client’s Need
    We are very much sensitive to what our clients want from this shoot. If you are not comfortable wearing a particular cloth or posing in a particular manner, we can always find some other options to replace that as this shoot is about you and only you!

  9. Encouraged to Ask Any Questions!
    We encourage our clients to ask as many questions as they can, even if they think it’s stupid as we are here to put at ease their anxious minds. We run a blog to provide as much information as we can about boudoir shoots in India. In case you are still not able to find what you are looking for there, we are here to answer all your queries.

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