Happy new month, it’s July and what does that mean? Nothing but a month to photograph beautiful images. Over the course of my career (which is still in its foetus stage) I’ve made certain mistakes that I wouldn’t want anyone else to make, mostly the beginners. In this post I want to share a few of these mistakes with you and how you can avoid them.
1. Jumping Into A Job
So you currently broke, and some anonymous caller calls you for a certain job then you carry out the job without having a full discussion regarding your price and also signing a terms of service, brother you are in for shit. One thing Aisha Aguie Kuta, an Abuja based photographer once said was that, people in this part of the world believe once you’ve got a camera then it’s no hard work to photograph, just click and that’s all. Blatant fallacy, photography is more than clicking, it’s thinking and working with complex softwares then spending cash to purchase equipment. So learn to price yourself well, don’t jump into a job cos you broke, it’s going to make you cheap forever to the person you jumped on his/her job.
2. Don’t click away your time
One theory I’ve developed over is that “it’s not the number of images you take that matters, but the quality in every image”. Let’s go back to the days of film, incase you haven’t used a film camera before then you wouldn’t know what it means when we say every exposure is important. No one wants to buy a roll of film and at the end of the day have only 3 good images, 27 wasted rolls? Shit! Thanks to Mr digital, photographers can now take 60 shots of one scene/subject then select the best. That’s a bad habit friend, rather engage with your subjects if it’s a shoot session or if it’s a lifestyle event, then shoot with extreme composition skills, after all you can’t have more than a certain amount of image to give your client. So just get the right pose, the right composition then shoot few shots maybe 5-10 just to ensure you prevent accidents like focus errors, eyes closed etc. Don’t just stand there and click the shutter away and expect your subject to pose herself, she ain’t a posing machine
3. Don’t give out your soft copies to clients for next to free
This is the mistake most people make, after you’ve had a shoot with a client and you and your client decided that about 15 of the pictures from the session are print – worthy then they ask “can I have some on my phone so I can use them for my Internet profile images?” You are tempted to say yes, that’s wrong. The soft copy is the only proof that the work of art is of your ingenuity. You should ensure you have stated in your terms of service the amount you will release a soft copy for them. Most especially if your pay isn’t so handsome then you need to ensure they know this from the beginning of the job.
In conclusion, learn to stand your ground when things get rough, it’s the only way you can prove to your client that you mean business. Your term of service is the only document to protect you from intellectual property stealing, remember to keep it as detailed as possible. Ciao, and happy shooting.
Have you learnt something from this post? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Obrigado