I frequently get asked about my tips for anyone just stepping into the world of business ownership and becoming a professional photographer. And, though I've written on the topic before, this time I'm throwing it back and really sharing what I genuinely wish I'd known when I started my own photography business.
RAW Saves Lives:
Photos can be seen in a few different file formats. Most basic cameras, even your phone, take photos in a .jpg format which is a smaller file. RAW Photo file formats are much larger, and preserve a much wider range of information when you take a photo which then allows you a lot more freedom when you’re editing later on.
These RAW images enable you to have a much wider range when it comes to brightening, darkening, adding contrast, or truly making any other changes to a particular image! This comes in handy all of the time, but even more so when you have to act quick and may not have your settings exactly where you want them to be.
Backup, Backup, Backup:
I have heard SO MANY horror stories about losing files, it’s insane and so sad!
For me, at weddings I shoot with two cards in my camera so I automatically have a backup. From there I come home and save the files onto two external hard drives and then convert them into smaller .jpg files that get backed up on a cloud gallery online.
AND THEN I don’t delete the files I have until long after I deliver the entire gallery to my clients - AND even then my contract includes a clause that states I am not responsible for having backups of their photos after they’ve been delivered. AND THEN I always send multiple reminders encouraging them to download the highest quality of their images so that I can rest easy.
Seems like a lot of steps and a lot of hassle? I promise, it's not! And it saves so much heartache and headache in the long run. Totally worth every second it takes!
Presets shouldn’t be used as a crutch + learning to shoot in manual should be one of your first priorities:
Yes, presets are a great starting point if you have absolutely no clue where to start or what you’re doing when it comes to editing your images, but they are NOT a cure-all solution.
If your lighting and composition are bad, there is no preset on earth that will fix that for you.
You need to learn to shoot in manual, and then just use presets that you either purchase or create yourself to ENHANCE your photos.
Having templates in place will save you soooo much time:
Generally, people that are inquiring about your pricing or packages, or just booked with you, will all have very similar questions.
So, put together frequently asked pages, pricing guides, email templates, etc. that you can just copy and paste or attach to an email in response to the same questions.
Then you’re not typing out the same thing all of the time!
Boundaries will save your life:
Setting boundaries can be one of the trickiest things for a business owner, especially when you’re getting started. You’re hustlin’ to build your business day in and day out, and you can forget to come up for air and maintain your personal or social life at times.
So, setting hours for when you’re working will save you so much stress, keep you far from burn out, etc.
Decide what hours and what days you work, and then when the hours are up, you’re done. Stop answering calls, emails, dms, working on products, etc!
I promise you’ll stay more inspired and passionate, and provide even better service for your customers!