Is everyone a photographer now!?!
I'm sure you have seen how many are claiming to be a photographer now out of nowhere, it seems like more & more "photographers" are popping up daily! I know everyone starts somewhere (I did as well!) but now I know better and want to share what I have learned with others & wish I had someone to tell me these things when I just started out.
If there is any advice I can give the hobbyist, amateur, semi-pro photographer & even registered professionals out there, it is to be careful of where you shoot & who you shoot! There are alot of public locations who now charge a fee to photographers, & they are starting to crack down on it! I've seen it my self this past summer...those public parks that are county owned or even private have Park Rangers roaming around that will fine you for not having a permit if it's required in that location!
Client don't just choose you, you also have the decission to choose to take them on as a client or not, I myself have refered potential clients elsewhere if we weren't a match on style, opinion, or area of photography (ie; I don't do events, no matter how much someone asks, or how much they will pay I will not take on event photography & I have my reasons, but I have access to refering them elsewhere to another liceansed professional photographer who does). There are also a lot of envious people out there & even so called friends can & may call you out, I've seen it done & heard horrors stories from other photographers! Be careful!
Why it's important to be a licensed buisness...people are SUE HAPPY! People are ENVIOUS! What if your photographer called you days before your newborn's session & told you their camera was stolen from their car & they couldn't afford to replace it? What if one of your guests at your wedding trips over your photographer's eqipment? All it takes is that one accident you have no control over! Did you know there is an actual form you can fill out for the IRS reporting unlicensed businesses? All you need is that one unhappy client or envious person to google it & report you.
Some things to keep in mind...Below are my TOP 10 (in no particular order) most important things any photographer charging for sessions (& charging a live-able wage; do not work for pennies thinking everyone will want use you if priced low, no one should want to be known as the cheap photographer) should be prepared to have & show...which could even work for almost any business:
1. INSURANCE-protect yourself
2. EXPERIENCE-practice practice practice
3. EQUIPEMENT (including backup)-you can never have too much when it's a business
4. PROFESSIONALISM-a must, who wants to do business with someone who shows little to no professionalism
5. QUALITY-I would never share an image I'm not proud of
6. TESTIMONIALS-word of mouth is huge
7. CONTRACTS/FORMS-again protect yourself & your business
8. LAWYER/ACCOUNTANT-not to sound repetetive but protect yourself & your business is very important
9. PERSONALITY-I am an extremely patient person, which comes in handy during complicated sessions
10. CONSISTENCY-always doing & showing your best work. color, clarity, quality should be consistent
If you are serious about making it a career choice then take lots & lots of classes (in person & online), read lots & lots of photography blogs, practice, practice, practice...then register your business, get insurance, invest in your business (proper gear, back up gear, contracts, forms, etc), build your portfolio...then take lots & lots of more classes & read lots & lots of more professional photography blogs...If you are willing to work at it, it is possible! Then charge your worth!! Everyone deserves to make a live-able wage as a self employed professional.
With all of that said, anyone can buy a pro DSLR, register a business, get insurance & start charging clients...but should they? Now that is a whole other conversation!
And to those of you reading this, who may not be trying to become a photographer but intrested anyway everything also applies when choosing a photographer who is right for you & capturing your memories! Thanks for visiting! Please feel free to comment & share! -Sarah
Keywords: important things for a photographer, licensed photographer, professional photographer, protecting your buisness, reasons to hire a professional photographer
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