Photographer Destin Sparks writes about these issues in his article over at Light Stalking.
This first one is something I used to do a lot. I’ve agreed to do work that I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about, and I’ve also worked with extremely challenging clients (and I don’t mean that in a very positive way) even though I had a feeling I should decline their request in the first place. Had I continued making the same mistake over and over again, I probably would have lost interest in photography sooner or later.
1. Professionals Develop A Habit Of Saying “Yes” To Everyone And Everything.
When your endeavors are first building momentum, it’s exciting to see client requests pouring in by the boatload. It’s exhilarating to find yourself telling people all about how busy you are now and realize you’re not exaggerating.
However, it’s also important to know when to say when “no”. Decide where you’re going to draw the line now before things get out of control.
Obviously, you want to avoid overfilling your schedule, but you also want to avoid saying “yes” to projects that really don’t interest you.
Don’t like photographing birthday parties or weddings?
It’s perfectly fine to say that you don’t do that sort of work. Don’t feel like a particular client is a good fit for you? Politely decline their request to work together.
2. Professionals Stop Believing There’s Room For Improvement.
At the end of the day, your photography career could eventually reach heights you can’t even imagine right now. You could be working on projects attached to multi-million dollar budgets. You could be working with celebrities. You could be world famous by even the most discriminating critic’s standards… and there will still be room for improvement.
This is the case whether or not you think so at the time.
While there’s something to be said for being proud of what you’ve accomplished and being confident in your abilities, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Never stop looking for ways to improve your skills, learn new techniques, and learn from others in the business.
3. Professionals Approach Their Photography The Way They Would Any Other Job.
Over the years, we’re trained to approach the act of earning a living a certain way:
- We get used to having a boss and to having to do things exactly the way that boss wants.
- We get used to living according to his schedule and prioritizing his standards, as opposed to ours.
- When we break into professional photography, it seems natural and normal to view our clients as alternative bosses and some photographers never learn how to stop.This is a grave mistake.
Avoid giving your clients the same absolute control over your projects that a boss would expect.
Yes, they should be involved.
Yes, their input, suggestions, and preferences should be taken into consideration.
Yes, they should be handled with respect and care.
No, you aren’t obligated to indulge their every whim. That may be a great way to do business in other industries, but it’s backward when it comes to the creative arts.