Five tips for a professional photographer
Suffolk photographer: Becoming a successful freelance photographer is living the dream, career-wise. Every week, a different assignment and a new location, sometimes, internationally. The work can be creative, glamorous and always extremely enjoyable. But, behind the scenes is a lot of work and preparation that ensures you can look after your clients and provide a professional photography service. Read on for our top five tips for a professional photographer.
Service your photography gear
You may think all is well and therefore no servicing is required, but if you are going pro, knowing the actual state of your equipment, and knowing its been well serviced, can put your mind at rest while you concentrate on the job in hand. Make sure you have a good back-up camera too – and take it on all your shoots. Have it serviced and job-ready with charged batteries, so you can swap over if your main camera lets you down for whatever reason.
There’s nothing worse than having to cancel a shoot with a client because your lens or camera body requires emergency treatment. If you have a fully working back-up body and spare lenses, you can often salvage the situation with minimal stress. Yes, it’s expensive to invest in the ‘what-ifs’- but it can end up being a lot more expensive in the long-term if you lose a client over it.
Confirm the brief
Clients aren’t often professional photographers. Very often there can be lack of communication, regarding what exactly a particular shoot requires. A client may be expecting you to shoot an entire building interior, or portraits of the whole company in a couple of hours. It’s important you don’t agree to the job until you know what the client expects from you. It might be that their expectations are too high, given the time or the budget available.
Always be ready to offer your advice as a professional about what will be realistically achievable. Make sure you know exactly what you’re being asked to shoot. Confirm what the images will be used for. That way you can quote realistically for the job. If you don’t get the job, possibly because the client decides to go with another photographer on the basis of promised results, don’t be put off. At the end of the day, the quality of your work will bring in new business in the long term.
Find good photography equipment rental services
Sometimes you will be asked to carry our jobs that are beyond the scope of your own equipment. Don’t be put off saying yes simply because you’ll need additional lighting or even people. Outdoor shoots for lifestyle photography or fashion can often require lots of gear and people to position them. This is available to hire from a good photography rental service. You can hire a range of gear for 24 hours or more, and build the cost into the quote for the job. Very often, it makes more sense to hire on a job by job basis, as you may only be asked to shoot with such equipment infrequently. You can also rely on the mechanical soundness of the gear because it will have been regularly serviced, and if it does prove faulty for any reason mid-shoot, there is usually a way to salvage the situation through the rental service itself.
It goes without saying for any job or business. However, as a jobbing photographer, you’ll have more to organise before an assignment than most professionals on a daily basis. Make sure you have all your gear packed and double checked the night before a big job. Spare battery packs, the back-up camera and lenses should all be included. Very often, if you are shooting in a public place, you will have to get permission from various sources to set up your equipment at all. Normally it’s down to the client. Have they got this sorted? All of the pre-shoot prep should have been put in place before you even set foot on location.
Are you insured? Most professional photographers should at least have public liability insurance, and even public indemnity. Although you always assume it won’t, and we like to think never will, you never know when thing can go wrong, and a lack of insurance can leave you really up the creek.
Know your limits
When you first start out, it’s very tempting to say yes to every job that comes your way. However, it’s equally important to know when to turn a job down because your know it will require more experience. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone once in a while. But do this on your own time, rather than on your clients. They will have a certain expectation in terms of results, and ‘winging it’ doesn’t always enable you to hit the mark very effectively.
In short.. Don’t say yes to a shoot if you’ve never done one like it before.
Building a respectful and long term relationship with a business client can lead to you being called upon time and time again for photography jobs. If you say yes to work you are inexperienced in, it may not reflect well on you once the job is done. Don’t be afraid to pass on the job to another photographer who has more experience. Ask if you can accompany them and learn from their techniques, so that next time you’ll have a better idea and some experience as well.
Suffolk photography by England Studios
We have an established reputation and twenty years experience in the business. We are also a leading commercial photography and videography service based in Suffolk. England Studios specializes in a number of areas, from portrait photography to interiors and events. We have the benefit of working with big name clients who recommend our services. We also have close associations with Getty Images, both in the UK and overseas. For more information on our Suffolk photography services, contact us today.