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Old November 5th, 2015, 12:48 PM
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cygnusstudios cygnusstudios is offline
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So you want to be a photographer

For all the wannabe photographers, here is some food for thought.

You just got your first offer on being paid to take pictures, congrats on getting a paying gig.

It is always nice to have someone willing to hand over their hard earned cash for your effort. So what is next?

If you are charging for your time, your effort, your skill, you are at least for that moment in time a professional. So, you must be a professional for that time.

That does not mean giving up your day job, running out and buying the best equipment, or even having mastered the craft of photography.

It does mean that your service should be 100% professional.

So why do pro's charge so much? This one is easy. They have the correct equipment, they have the experience, they have the knowledge of what it takes to deliver a finished product to the client.

Now that you believe you have the right to charge a person for your abilities, ask yourself if you have the three qualities that the pro's have.

Do you have the right equipment?
Do you have the experience?
Can you deliver?

Now ask yourself the following basic questions ....

Do you have back up memory cards?
Extra batteries for your camera and flash?
Extra lenses?
Extra camera?

Have you thought about what happens if you can't make it to the shoot?
What do you do if the client is unhappy with the final images?
What happens if your computer crashes during the editing process and you lose all the images?
What if the client gets hurt during the shoot?
What happens if you get hurt during the shoot?
What happens if you can't deliver the images to the client on time?
How are you billing the client?
Do you need a model release?
Do you need a property release?
Do you have a contract? Do you need one?
What do you say to the client if they want the copyright?
What kind of usage/license agreement do you offer to the client? And for how long?
Are you offering the images on print? On cd? on dvd?
Are you offering full resolution images?
Do you place a watermark on the images?

I am sure that if you have read this far you are starting to get the point. This is not meant to scare you, or keep you from finding paying gigs. It is however a beginning to the questions that you have to ask yourself before making the move to professional photography.

Once you charge, you are professional. (if only for that shoot)

You can be sued, you can have your budding photography career shortened by receiving a bad reputation. Simply because you were not prepared.

If this were easy, everyone would be doing it.

Insurance for your gear is not cheap.
Liability insurance is not cheap.
The correct gear is not cheap.
However, all of these are cheaper than the lawyer who will defend you in a lawsuit.

Keep in mind that in the states, getting money in a lawsuit is far easy than playing the lottery. Also keep in mind that your lawyer will charge you the same rate whether you are right or wrong.

While it is cool that your friend is offering $50 to come out and shoot the kids, but the decision has to be based on sound business logic.

So the next time you wonder why the pro's charge so much, spend a few minutes considering all the things that we put up with each and every time the contract is signed.
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Old November 6th, 2015, 10:50 AM
FedericaS FedericaS is offline
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Re: So you want to be a photographer

Thanks!
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Old November 7th, 2015, 03:53 AM
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MannyC MannyC is offline
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Re: So you want to be a photographer

I'm not sure why this post rubs me wrong....
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Old November 9th, 2015, 09:15 PM
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cygnusstudios cygnusstudios is offline
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Re: So you want to be a photographer

Quote:
Originally Posted by MannyC View Post
I'm not sure why this post rubs me wrong....
I would love to know why...
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Old November 9th, 2015, 10:55 PM
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MannyC MannyC is offline
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Re: So you want to be a photographer

I think it was the opening line...
"For all the wannabe photographers, here is some food for thought."
What do you mean by wannabe? Is this statement going out to members here? Are our captures here not up to par?
Also what do you mean by having the correct equipment, not every professional tog use the same equipment.
I've been shooting since 05, 06, with point and shoots and moved on to dslr's in 07 and I'm pretty sure most of the members here have plenty of knowledge of how things work in this field.
I consider myself a photographer. I do it as a hobby, I'll even capture moments of my friends kids every once in a while.

Wait, it's probably the title that got me....maybe it could have read,

"So you want to be a professional photographer"
"So you want to be a PRO photographer"
  #6    Top
Old November 10th, 2015, 11:04 AM
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cygnusstudios cygnusstudios is offline
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Re: So you want to be a photographer

Quote:
Originally Posted by MannyC View Post
I think it was the opening line...
"For all the wannabe photographers, here is some food for thought."
What do you mean by wannabe? Is this statement going out to members here? Are our captures here not up to par?
Also what do you mean by having the correct equipment, not every professional tog use the same equipment.
I've been shooting since 05, 06, with point and shoots and moved on to dslr's in 07 and I'm pretty sure most of the members here have plenty of knowledge of how things work in this field.
I consider myself a photographer. I do it as a hobby, I'll even capture moments of my friends kids every once in a while.

Wait, it's probably the title that got me....maybe it could have read,

"So you want to be a professional photographer"
"So you want to be a PRO photographer"

Very good explanation.

Wannabe = want to be. Obviously my slang didn't translate well (my mistake).

Correct equipment = To get the job done. Again maybe I wasn't clear enough on that. This has nothing to do with "X" camera brand or "X" lighting, but you need the right gear for that particular job. Some jobs require more lighting, some require faster shutter speeds, some require the ability to shoot in low light, you need the right gear to get the job done. Hopefully that makes more sense.

Title of thread. Not everyone who takes an occasional paying job wants to be "pro" photographer, however, I'm a firm believer that anytime you take a "job" you should be a pro for that job, because you are going to be held responsible the same way a pro will be.

Add to that, I've been so busy doing catalogs the past few weeks that my brain isn't working clearly and I've been wanting to add some conversations to the forum beyond "look this at this picture".

That being said, I hope that everyone will call me out if they don't agree. After all these years I still learn something new every day and welcome disagreements. My way may not be the only way or even the right way, but I'll never know it if no one shares their way.

So if I open up discussions that raise the passion of others, I stand a better chance of learning a new way.
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  #7    Top
Old January 4th, 2016, 05:37 PM
JDiaz3 JDiaz3 is offline
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Re: So you want to be a photographer

Thanks for the insight. Agree with MannyC your post does come off a bit negative BUT I'm sure we (wanna be photogs) can forget about all the little nuances that goes into becoming a "professional"... so thanks for the reminder!
  #8    Top
Old January 4th, 2016, 06:38 PM
Russ Russ is offline
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Re: So you want to be a photographer

I have to agree with Manny's initial assessment. I think its predicated on your use of the all encompassing term "photographer" when you meant to refer to the subset "photographer for hire" or commercial photographer. One does it as an avocation, the other as a vocation.....BIG difference. Your list for photographers, while not without its merits, is far too obsessive and reflects more on the possible realities of dealing as a "for hire" photog with deadlines and the expectations of others vs a hobbyist who has neither. Note that I resist using the arbitrary term "professional photographer" as its used too loosely, sometimes merely conveying a photog (of ANY expertise) being paid vs an expert photog (who may or may not being paid to do so).

That said, it is a comprehensive and well thought out list for consideration for prospective "for hire" photogs, ie "look before you leap!".
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Old January 4th, 2016, 07:42 PM
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agiledogs agiledogs is offline
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Re: So you want to be a photographer

I kind of get where the OP poster is going. Instead of wannabe, I would put in "wannabie pro"

We all are wannabe photographers but only some of use are actual pros in the field. Some pros are full time some are part time. Quite a few talented amateurs on the site as well. As a well respected teach I had a long time ago said even after 30 years he felt barely adequate in his profession...(He was one of the first teacher of the year recipients, and perhaps the overall best and single most important teacher influence in my life). I like to think that no matter how well any of my shots comes out, there are always ways it could be even better. I can strive for perfection but will never actually attain it.

The post was directed at those who perhaps started off like myself in that a friends started offering ,money for photos...in my case photos of their dogs. This then led to working dog shows in agility, then flyball and lure coursing.
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