The transition from shooting as a hobby to becoming a professional photographer is a big step in any photographer’s life.
The right decisions have to made to ensure that you not only get the work you need to make a living but also that you remain in love with photography.
Here’s my personal approach to professional photography, I hope it'll help others looking to make a living from photography.
To launch my photography business I started working initially on smaller paid projects. This enabled me to learn the basic process of a paid commission. From quoting clients the right fee to carrying only the gear I needed for that job and delivering promptly that work I was paid for.
Looking back at it, it often took a lot of balls to accept some jobs which did scare me but I knew would be very beneficial.
My first paid job was for a Formula One team, needless to say I was worried I didn’t have the right gear or experience but ended up doing a good job.
This really helped build my confidence as a photographer.
On other occasions I worked with very difficult clients who knocked down my confidence and that took some time to build again. It even made me wonder if I really wanted to make a living out of photography which I love so much.
This was a big lesson, maybe the most important.
What I learnt from that was to be very careful who I decided to work with in the future as it's incredibly hard to get up once you're knocked down.
Today, if I feel before accepting a job that the client is not particularly pleasant or the project would not benefit my profile, I’ll decline politely to work with them.
As the number of photography and cinemagraphs jobs increased, each time I aimed to work with bigger, more exciting brands and more challenging and exciting projects, keeping my passion alive.
Today I have built a list of top international clients who have trusted me on their projects and who I’ve repaid by producing the work they were after and more. These happy clients have often written testimonials for my website.
Aside from working with big clients or projects, I also enjoy working with particularly nice people who run smaller businesses. I believe kindness should be rewarded.
You see… I worked for over 15 years in luxury hotels before I was a photographer and often faced incredibly rude clients. The philosophy was that the client is king… even if they treat you like you’re nothing. Often people who would shout the loudest would get what they wanted, this is something to this day I cannot understand.
So if I speak to a lovely person with a great idea, a person who is as passionate about what they do as I am but who doesn’t have quite the budget, I’ll still be open to discussing.
Because even if there are bills to pay it’s not all about money and big names.
I love what I do and knowing I have exceeded what a client hired me for is the best reward.
It's even better when they contact me again!