3 Business Tips for Photography Shoots
October 28, 2013
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Whether you are on location or taking pictures in a studio, a shoot can be stressful. There is just so much you, as the photographer, are responsible for.
By working with models for your course projects, you might have already realized that communication is essential to finding the right shot. But have you realized that being professional and businesslike is also important?
We want to share these three business tips with you to improve your photography shoots. Apply these tips to your course projects today to see if they help you communicate clearly with your models and get the shot you want.
1. You are Not Just a Photographer
Unlike some professional photographers, you do not have a crew to set up a shot for you. You are responsible for lighting and staging your photographs. You are the one who directs the models. You are the one who finds the location, schedules the shoot and makes sure the weather will allow you to complete the shoot.
There is so much you need to remember to check and do before and after you step behind the camera. If you hope to work as a freelance photographer after you complete your degree program, then this statement is especially true. As a freelancer, you’re also your own accountant, manager and secretary.
That’s a lot of responsibility. Stay organized by creating a checklist of everything you need to do before, during and after a photo shoot. Keep the list and develop it as you complete more projects for your coursework. By the end of your degree program, you should have a fully developed list that you can use for your work in the industry.
2. Be Professional On-Site
This might seem obvious to you, but it is important for you to be professional while you are shooting for a client.
This includes being patient. It can be difficult getting the right shot – it might take a few tries to get your model in the right position. You might have to adjust the lighting or change the settings on your camera. The entire process can be frustrating.
Professional photographer Lauren Lim recommends that you develop your people skills. She says, “Photography is a people business. Even if you’re a landscape shooter, your clients are people. And the better you can work with, and take care of, the people you do business with, the more success you’ll see.”
Treat your clients and your models the way you would want to be treated. It’s a simple concept, but it can make people enjoy working with you – which can benefit you as a student and as a professional.
3. Consider Mini Shoots
Mini shoots are great marketing opportunities that can help you practice the two skills we’ve covered above and improve your networking skills.
For Valentine’s Day, professional photographer Amber Fischer decided to hold an open photo booth event, or mini shoot. The shoot allowed customers to get professional photographs at a reduced price without much wait or hassle.
Fischer says, “The most exciting part happened weeks later when I started receiving emails and phone calls from people who said they heard about me from Valentine’s Photo Booth customers.” People had appreciated the mini shoot so much that they had told others about it – Fischer had, very much on accident, tapped into word-of-mouth marketing.
A mini shoot is an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills and your style. Fischer recommends offering a shoot around a holiday that will attract your target clients. She works primarily with 20 to 35 year old women with children, so she typically offers shoots around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
The shoots have dramatically increased her client base and offered a unique opportunity to network with people she hadn’t previously known. She notes that shoots can be stressful – making them a great opportunity to practice your people skills and your multitasking skills.