Photography Classes' Notes - How to prepare for your first paying photography job?

Hi everybody. It's Charlie Wang here.

So you're getting pretty good with your camera. You shot some "clients", friends and family members really, and you're getting encouraging feedback from everybody you've shot. And finally, it happens: You got yourself your first paying job. Whoa! Congrats! But you're worry...

You're worry about doing a bad job. You don't know what to charge? It just feels weird to ask for money doing something you've been doing for fun. You know what I say: Don't worry about it. It's all part of the process.

When I first started, I asked someone who had 6 years professional experience over me about the same thing. He said to me that it's ok to make mistakes in pricing, but provide the best possible customer service. The customer knows you're inexperience and inexpensive. Trust me, they've done their shopping. What they see in you and your vision is worth the risk in time and money. However, it doesn't give you excuse to make dumb mistakes like forgetting to bring a lens cleaner, fresh batteries, or enough memory cards. Make a list have the equipment tested the night before.

Here's a list of things I never go without:
Sanyo Brand Batteries
Cleaning Solution
Giottos Rocket Air Blaster
Tiffen Lens Cleaning Tissue

(If you purchase any of these above items here or from Amazon after clicking these links, I do get a piece from Amazon at no extra cost to you.)

Now finally, this is where I feel is the most important part of your photography career. And that's: Be a great communicator. I'm not talking about public speaking or know how to direct and pose a subject at a shoot. I'm talking about just communication. From start to finish, make sure your clients are always in the loop. Go through a shot-list with them prior to the shoot over coffee or over the phone. Then make sure they know exactly what they are getting and when. Follow up with an email echoing what you've discussed with them - call time, locations, how many photos, etc. At the end of the shoot, follow up on how far you are with editing their photos and the ETA. Provide them with any new information if you're using an outside venders, like print shops, album designers, etc. Finally following up with them on how satisfy they are, and ask for a testimony of your service.

I can continue and dedicate the rest of the post on more actionable ideas, but I really want to leave this post with this take away. No matter where you are in your career, it's always the same when it comes to communicate with your clients. And you will have more clients when you have the best form of advertisement - happy clients.

In next post I will discuss on the should you go to school or self-teach? Until then, click on the subscribe or sign up for email updates.

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