If you’re thinking of starting a new photography habit or perhaps wanting to turn your hobby into a business, there’s a few tricks that you should have up your sleeve and some routines that you should have ingrained into your daily life. Read on for some handy tips and tricks that all successful photographers live by…
Know your gear
First things first, make sure you are very familiar with your own equipment. Take the time to know your camera inside and out. Know where all the important features are in the menus that you need to change on the fly. Know how to change ISO, aperture, and shutter speed without looking at the camera! You don’t want to be turning up to professional and paid jobs spending time fiddling with settings on your new camera in front of clients because you didn’t take the time to learn how to use all the new features. Same goes for everything in your camera bag: lenses, flashes, tripods, filters, etc. As a photographer, you’ll no doubt be dropped into unfamiliar and unexpected settings and you need to be able to adjust your plans, time and more importantly, your work without worrying about your gear.
Trust your worth
The second thing you’ll need to go into every job you get assigned is confidence. Now that you have confidence in your gear, know that your skills and photos are worth the time and money that your client is paying for. Don’t let the client manipulate you, as they have hired you to make their photos and product look great. Therefore you need to exude confidence and prove to your client that you know what you are doing and they can trust your artistic judgment to complete the assignment.
As a photographer and small business owner, you’ll most likely be paid by the job. So you need to learn to be flexible with your work and hence, your time. Make sure you’ve got a handy work-bag ready to pick up when a last minute job comes up so that you can be out the door in five minutes.
On the flipside of this, make your time count. Invest in a laptop so that you can get work done anywhere. If a client is running late because of traffic or any other number of reasons why you can’t begin at the scheduled time, make the most of this spare time by having a laptop on hand so that you can answer some emails, edit some photos, update your website, etc. Your time is valuable and the more opportunities you can give yourself to get work done the less you will have to do later! There’s no point getting upset with clients for something that may have been out of their control, make the best use of your time instead of wasting it. Start the session as soon as you can and move on with your day!
Take your ‘photographer hat’ everywhere
Try spending some days leaving the house with your ‘photographer hat’ on. The more you look around the more you’ll notice, inspiration can start anywhere and so use your surroundings to channel yours. Before you know it you’ll be able to look at a scene and imagine how to dress it and frame it for a shoot. You may notice some places you visit daily as a potential shoot location that you never considered before because you didn’t look at a location with a creative eye. You don’t always need to feel like you need to bring your camera with you ever either, simply use your phone to document location ideas or whatever creative idea hits you while you are out.
Use an app like Evernote to keep track of your photos, location ideas, shoot ideas, and so on. Don’t let your images get lost in your camera roll. Have an organized way to keep track of your thoughts.
Back-up your back-up
Most importantly, you don’t ever want to lose any of your current or previous client work. It’s worth investing in a good quality hard-drive to store your photos and to prevent any technical nightmares. You will also want to back up your external hard drive with a cloud-based service such as Dropbox or Crashplan. Give yourself the ultimate peace of mind that no matter what happens your work is safe. This will add to your professionalism and effectiveness as a business, meaning they’ll be sure to come back again and again.