I received an email yesterday asking me for some tips for a new photographer looking to go professional. The request was for some tips that aren’t always apparent to a newly emerging photographer… Over the years I have been faced with pretty much every challenge there is for a freelance professional photographer and so I decided to write this post to share a little bit of what I have learnt.
1. Have more then enough memory cards.
By this I am not referring to having enough cards on a shoot in case of read error or over shooting (although that is a very important thing to remember) but rather I like to have enough cards so that I don’t need to format them for at least 4-5 shoots. What I do is keep the cards stored by date on my desk in a rotation of 5-6 shoots, so that if I find down the road that files failed to copy or I was too fried and forgot to copy all the data when time comes to edit, that I still have the data on the card. There will come times when you may be shooting back to back on location and by the end of a 12hr shoot in the sun, things can get a little hazy, by keeping your cards safe for a few extra days, you can really help safe guard against the dreaded formatting slip.
2. Have a few extra flashes.
If you shoot on location, chances are you are going to smash a speedlight or 20 in your career… During a windy pre-typhoon shoot I lost 2 in a row…Now if you are living by a well stocked camera store this may not be the end of the world, but if you are working regionally or away on assignment, getting replacements on short notice may not be an option. I use the Yongnuo YN560-III flashes and as they are quite inexpensive, I make sure I have at least 5 in stock at all times.
3. Refrain from showing customers the LCD screen during a shoot.
I am guilty of this often, the rush of getting a killer shot can make you want to show the client, however there are times when a shot looks good in the moment, but in the computer you notice that there was something not right with it…What do you do when the client says, hey where is that shot that you showed us? It is a rare occurrence but it can be a pain down the line, better to just keep it cool and let the client see the finished product.
4.Always clearly breakdown your photo system to the client prior to the shoot.
When you are shooting and getting that creative rush, often it is easy to forget that your clients are also experiencing a similar feeling, now you may be very clear on what you are offering, but this is all new to your client, discussing details of the shoot verbally on the day can be forgotten or misinterpreted in the moment, much better to have the details all in email format so that if there is a dispute down the line you can referrence and help clear it all up without causing any serious issues or damage to your reputation or your clients feelings.
5.Treat each shoot with the same passion as your first.
As time goes by and the number of shoots adds up, it is easy to forget that for most of your clients this photoshoot is something new and exciting, just consider how many times you have hired a photographer to shoot for you. Treat every shoot with the same passion as your first shoot and not only will your clients feel special, but you might find that you can stave off the feelings of monotony yourself. Every job will get tired eventually, but with a fresh dose of enthusiasm and creativity you can really keep the enjoyment alive, and probably make new friends with every shoot
Hope this tips help… Happy shooting
*the images in this post are not mine, if you are the owner and dont agree with their usage, shoot me an email and I will either remove them or make an arrangement for their use.