Good Morning Everybody,
Early last evening I had the pleasure of hanging out with 4 photographers, Barry Howe, Douglas Lee Coon, Dennis Zerwas, and Gavin on Gavin Seim's Pro Photography Show. Gavin does these podcasts on a weekly basis - I don't know where he finds the time - but, needless to say, it's always a good time and lively discussion.
His current post, 11 Killer Marketing Books & Resources For Photographers [link] is a great read. BTW, I don't just say that because he included DPT on his list. His list does include one of my favorite sales books - How to Sell Anything to Anybody. Like I said, you can give it a read right here - Enjoy.
Getting back to the podcast - we talked all things photography, new news items, new products, marketing ideas, and more. Gav tells me it may be up later today. Just hit the podcast link on the home page of his site. Anyway, lots of good stuff.
And speaking of podcasts, I'm doing a "LIVE" web-cast over at LensFlare35 [link] next Tuesday. Dave Warner puts these together and has been doing a great job with his new adventure. The topic: Fusion, Convergence, HD DSLR’s – the video capability in these new cameras. I'm honored to join Zacuto’s Steve Weiss and Kevin Shahinian.
Want info on the same subject, check out LensFlare35’s January 27, 2010 on a similar topic right here.
If you follow this blog on a regular basis, you guys and gals know how fired-up I am about the DSLR/Video possibilities so plan to stop by. Dave has really got the format of the show locked down with live tweeting, call in questions and more. Heck, it's just like we are in your living room. See ya' there.
OK, time to get on with today's post. I'm always keeping an eye on the Skribit widget in the right column of DPT. Once again, a question popped earlier this week which I thought needed some discussion, "Mistakes New Photographers Make When Starting Their Business." The more I thought about it, the more excited I became about how I wanted to answer the question. Today's post does just that so let's get right to it.
OK, here we go. My list is based on my own actual experiences and my experiences with photographers in the process of or having just started their businesses. It’s mostly a matter of naiveté – “green around the ears”, so to speak, about all things required for a success oriented business.
Hey, I’m not pointing any fingers – I was in the same boat when I started my business – “green as grass” I loved shooting and creating photographs, so why not start a photography business?
DAZNOTE: In my new book, “Captured By The Light” [link], I actually tell my story in the first few pages of the book. I hope you’ll give it a read. It was quite interesting to reminisce about those early years.
It get’s pretty scary when you’re getting calls from the revenue agents looking for back taxes.
Telling them you spent the money, has never cut it with those tax guys and gals. Then figuring out how you are going to come up with the money is not a pleasant situation.
If you are serious about your future in this profession, here are 12 mistakes – and this is not a complete list - new photographers make when starting their business.
Hit the “Read More…” link below for the rest of the story.
Here’s my list of 12 mistakes photographers make when starting their businesses.
1. Lack of knowledge about how their gear works.
People attend my workshops and in the early part of the week I ask the class to time–sync their cameras with mine. That way their overall shots sync-up with my class shots. It’s a great learning tool. I’m always surprised that about 1/3 of the class has no idea how to set the time on their cameras. As “screaming comic”, Sam Kinison would have said – READ THE MANUAL!!!
With all the free stuff on line – DigitalProTalk, Strobist, and nearly free information available at – Kelby Training, there simply is no reason why a new photographer should not be prepared to shoot a wedding. There are a gazillion wedding books on the market too that can point you in the right direction for doing a great job photographing the celebration. Heck, I’ve got 288 pages walking you through the entire process from start to finish.
3. Shooting with no “Back up” equipment.
This one floors me. “What camera should I buy to shoot a wedding if I only have enough money for one camera?” My advice; DON”T shoot a wedding till you have money for two cameras and two flashes. This isn’t a “do-over” event. You must be prepared.
4. Not dressing the part.
This is simply a real “pet peeve” of mine. It is the total lack of professionalism when some photographers present themselves at a FORMAL event – let me say it again, FORMAL event, for example a wedding! Black T-shirts, no tie, etc. My advice – get real, get professional – get REALLY PROFESSIONAL!!! Dress the way the guests dress. You certainly don’t want a tux for an small afternoon beach ceremony. But you also don’t want to show up in pants and tee shirt at an evening formal, sit down dinner event at the top country club in the area.
Here is a link to a post I did a while back entitled, “Dressing The Part At A Wedding” on the same subject right here.
This goes under the same heading as the above point. It speaks to profession decorum and conduct at a wedding. We ARE NOT guests, per se. We are the “hired help”. Just hear me out. Whether you’re shooting a $1000 job or a $10,000 job, you are there FOR YOUR CLIENT FIRST!!! Keep your attention on the job at hand. Never waiver from your attention to detail and creativity when you are on the job. If you do not have the “eye of the tiger” when shooting your job, you do your client a disservice!
My team and I NEVER sit at a wedding – it is Verboten!! We take our first 60 second soft drink break usually about 6 hours into the job. Sounding too tough for you….look for another job.
6. Thinking it’s their gig and they will get the shot at any cost.
Another BIG “pet peeve” of mine. Too many photographers see themselves as the “premiere artieest” at the event and will get the shot at any cost, including disrespecting the house of worship and trespassing where the know they should not go. That’s one main reason so many priests, ministers , and rabbis are “fed up” with wedding photographers. Read my post, “Is Wedding Photography Dead” right here and you’ll get my drift on the subject.
Hey gang, get me up on my “soap box” and I get pretty fired up. I feel very strongly about all the points I made in today’s post and as a result, it getting quite long.
I’ll have the next six more MISTAKES for you next week and I’ll plan on wrapping the piece next Friday.
On that note gang, I’m out of here. Everybody have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday. And remember; in these cold, wintery days of the season, if you really want to “turn-on and warm-up” your digital pixels, shoot snow scenes;~)
Adios Everybody, -David