Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Photography

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We have photographers from a whole range of different sectors – portrait photography, landscape, sport, fashion photography, fitness photography, wildlife, wedding and more. We asked one simple question:

What things wish you knew when you started photography bussines?

Hopefully by sharing them, you’ll have a smoother ride to success!

1. When you price yourself at a sustainable level people book you based on your style and talent not your price.

2. To build a brand, business and presence one step at a time and not resort to desperation techniques to get clients. Things take time but most of us are impatient and then do wrong things (like low prices) that can haunt us.

3. Try to get know your clients. Aks them questions, it will help you to create better images for them. You’ll know more about their personalities, and be able to focus on those moments that really capture who they are.

4. Know what makes an image worth paying for. Not in my eyes, but in the eyes of the one holding the checkbook.

5. Give fabulous customer service. Word of mouth referrals are the most powerful sources of bookings for photographers.

6. Shoot RAW. Or shoot RAW plus JPEG. Don’t worry about cost of storage. Don’t worry about unfamiliarity with editing. Just shoot RAW.

7. Invest in quality storage. Do this early because it’s a mess to clean up when you have well over a terabyte of images years later.

8. Learn To Shoot In Manual Mode Right Away.

9. Dont assume things from messenger/text/email. If you arent speaking to the person, you dont know their “tone”. Read everything as a business email.

10. Tell clients in your first year or two that they are receiving portfolio-building prices, that way it’s not awkward/shocking when your prices eventually go up to normal prices. I didn’t do this and wish I had.

11. That a good business person will make more money from a photography business than a good photographer.

12. Don’t expect to make a profit your first year.

13. Don’t beat yourself up if things aren’t happening as fast as you expected. If you stick with it, and keep improving, you’ll get there.

14. Take the time to create your own photographic style based on timelessness, not trendiness.

15. You’ll never make a good photo with your camera sitting at home. I’ve had to convince myself that the day that I leave the camera at home will be the day I miss the award winning photojournalism opportunity I’m waiting for.

16. It’s not hard to convince yourself that if you just had that better lens, you’d take better photos, and your business would be more successful. I don’t even want to think about how much money I’ve wasted by buying gear that I didn’t really need.

17. Buy the best Tripod you can, don’t go cheap on it.

18. Once you’ve bought all this lovely expensive gear, get it insured.

19. I wish someone would’ve pushed me to experiment more earlier in my career. Took quite some time to leave me photogephic comfort zone.

20. You can edit more than one picture at a time in Lightroom.

21. You are a photographer/customer service expert/book keeper/marketing director/social media whiz/branding dude/website creation person/secretary/treasurer/CEO/CFO/ and pretty much any other title you can think of. The sooner you realize that you’re going to need to become good at a LOT of different things, the sooner you can start improving at them all.

22. MARKET IS A KEY. Getting your business all set up with a website and name and logo and all that stuff — that’s what gets you to the starting point. Then the real work begins. You need to get out there and tell people about it, and market yourself!

What are some things you wish you knew when starting photography?

What have you learned throughout your shooting career?

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