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Thread: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

  1. #21

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    Quote Originally Posted by Teegongkia View Post
    I have to second every simple thing that JasonB has mentioned. All pros started from the fiery passion that they once had, decided to give up their well paid stable work and plunge head-on into this "dream career" of theirs.
    After weeks/months of turning pro, shooting day in and out, you started to feel burnt-out, your fiery passion extinguished.

    Imagine you are a wedding photographer, you are good and price is reasonable, you know how to reach out to the market you are targeting, you get a great deal of assignments. Sounds good, you have an approximate of 80 wedding assignments every year, 20 commercial and corporate, you are shooting almost every weekends and in peak period almost every day. Soon, every wedding starts to look the same, every wedding become a routine. You are purely repeating every day. In days where you don't shoot, you need to edit and clear backlogs, and you are looking at sets of photos which looks the same every day. You don't feel excited or inspired about it anyone, you continue to accept assignment only for the money, you dread going for shoot and don't feel passionate about it anymore.

    And the whole cycle repeats itself.

    In short, please consider it carefully, doing photography as a full time is not as nice as it sounds
    To be honest, if you start getting a lot of assignment, it is time to rise the price to drop that volume, or you can just say no to more assignment.

    When you shoot less and paid more, it minimises the issue of burn out, instead of shooting 80 weddings, you could do just 40 which allow you time to think in the quiet time to develop something new within yourself. This is the way to create more and more market leading shot.

    If a photographer treat photography business as just getting assignment, it is not any different from working with a company in a corporate world.

    Many feel burn out simply because of the things that you say, doing same old thing everyday. But fact is you can't afford to keep doing same thing every time, you either refine or create your work to grow.

    If you know photography is a passion, you have to protect it... Simply have time doing what you enjoy.

    Yes, it is never easy when you get busy, but it is much nicer problem to have then jump in and discover jobs just don't come in at all, that generally kill both the passion and confident, and this is generally blame on not having the right product for the right market and don't understand business side.

    To really enjoy photography business, you need to enjoy the photography and enjoy running the business. I love both so I am really love what I love doing.

    Many sees things from negatives side, but if you have a positive views to many situation, you will be able to get to where you want with lots of hard work and a little dose of luck.

    Just another perspectives.

    Regards,

    Hart

  2. #22
    Member cirenaiht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnjohar

    Read below 1st!

    You have your camera charged, and memory cards ready. You are getting ready to shoot your first wedding. You are sweating buckets because you are nervous, but you are excited for the opportunity. A new photographer who has had their camera for not even 5 months, you think you ready and prepared.

    You listed an ad for cheap wedding photography--$500 for all day coverage.

    You go to the wedding and you shoot. The day goes off without a hitch and you are loving this new "job"! The pictures on the back of the camera look awesome, and you can't wait to get home to edit the pictures!

    BUT

    The ball drops.

    You get home and download the images to find that there are NONE. The memory card that you shot the entire wedding on is corrupt. No images at all. This happened to me. I was a brand new photographer. I had my Nikon D70 for about 5 months, and wanted to start doing weddings. I listed an ad for cheap wedding photography, and found a couple that was willing to let me shoot their wedding. I was new and didn't know what I was doing, so we met up and talked about their wedding, and agreed I would shoot it for $500. No contract signed. No LLC to protect myself, nothing. There is no way that I would get sued, right? The bride and groom were super nice, and hey, he was a lawyer, so if we needed a contract he would have mentioned it, I figured.

    I took my camera, in P mode, with an 8gb card, and shot their entire wedding on one card. I couldn't wait to get home and see the images I saw on the back of my camera materialize in Photoshop. But instead, I got home and found that the card was toast. I had not 1 image from their wedding. I had to tell them that I had nothing. Talk about gut-wrenching. I knew I was going to give them their $500 back. That was all I planned on happening. Little did I know that my world was about to get rocked. I got sued. I had no LLC, I had no contract. Even worse, I had no insurance. Either I pay him what he was asking, or else we would end up in court, and I would have to pay an attorney, and that would cost even more. They sued me for the cost to rent new tux's, new makeup, and hair, new flowers, a new photographer, and other things. They sued me for enough to recreate parts of their wedding so the new photographer could take their pictures. It would have cost me more to fight it. They would be able to eventually put a lien against my house and more. I paid up. I paid almost $3,000 on top of refunding them their $500.

    I quit photography. It was my first wedding, and I was devastated. My heart was broken that this had happened.

    Over the next year, I practiced on my kids, and shot my friends kids, friends who were engaged...and just had fun. I learned my camera and abused it. I still had a passion for photography, but was gun shy and scared. I knew that there had to be a way to protect myself, but I had no idea. During that year, I did tons of research and I filed for an LLC. Even if I was going to be shooting my friends kids, I wanted to keep my personal assets like my house protected in a lawsuit. Then I met Rachel. I had decided to try one more time, but start with a free wedding. This time I had a contract. This time I shot the wedding on 4gb cards, in case something happened to one of them. This time I was an LLC. This time I had practiced for a year, and knew my camera. I was no longer in P mode, but in Manual mode. This time I had more then my kit lens to shoot with. Even with all those things in place, if someone sued me, I would still have to pay out. What if my gear broke? How would I replace it? I didn't have the money to just replace a camera if it broke. What if I tripped and fell and my camera broke? What if my cards went corrupt again? What if someone at the shoot got hurt by tripping over my gear or lightstands?

    I looked and looked and finally decided that if I was going to do this, I had to do it right and protect not only myself but MY FAMILY. That is when I got insurance. I decided to go with Package Choice through Hill & Usher. It was worth the small amount each month to have that peace of mind. I knew that if I got sued or something broke I would be protected. My family would be protected. In NO WAY am I saying that insurance is all you need. You need to have backups. You need to be prepared for the what ifs. You need a contract that lays things out, and protects not only you, but your bride and groom, or your portrait clients. Our contracts under promise and we over deliver. Our contracts lay out what they can expect from us. They lay out the time line on how long till they receive their images (which is always longer then we know it will take, but then you look like a rockstar when you get them out sooner then they expected), to what will happen if for some reason something happens to their images, or even if something happened to US on the way to a shoot!

    Going into the photography business can be risky and scary. It is not easy or cheap. And there are certain things that you just can not get away with not having. You need to protect yourself and your family. You need to know your camera and you need to know how to handle the what ifs. I was absolutely not prepared.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT fall into the line of thinking that I fell into, thinking that it won't happen to you. I mean, you're most likely right that it will not happen to you.

    BUT

    What if you are that small percentage that it does happen to? What if you are not prepared?

    I wish I could go back and change so much of what I did. (It is a huge part of why we are as open as we are with Pure.) The bride and groom forever do not have pictures of their actual wedding day because I was unprepared and untrained. I should have second shot with people before I went out and shot this wedding. I had no idea what to expect during a wedding day. I barely knew my camera. It was NOT fair to use their wedding to practice. I should have been a second or third shooter for someone else and practiced there. I am not saying that this would not have still happened, but at least I would have known to not shoot an entire wedding on one memory card. I would have known to have a backup camera and lens, even if I had to rent them. I ONLY use 4GB cards now and shoot RAW, so if something like this was to happen again... I would only loose 100 images due to the large file size on my 5d mark ii. Plus Rachel and I shoot together, so we are backed-up both in images and in gear. We have back ups of back ups now.

    My point here is do NOT ever think that it won't happen to you. Because, as sad as I am to say it, at some point in your career, whether if you are new or seasoned, something will happen at some point. Something you did not anticipate. The difference can be in what you did to prevent it, and what you do to learn from it, and how you protected yourself and your family.
    Hats off bro!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. #23

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    hi TS

    There is a reason why only a handful of wedding photogs can make it.

    If u want to be a good wedding photog u need a good site also. like WIX.com and blogspot. Then people will think u are good.

    and please learn from mnjohar becauuse 'P' mode stands for Professional mode, must be professional if not memory card will be fried. Only after you practice then start to use Manual for weddings, because Manual is the way to go if you want to capture that split second moment without fiddling with the settings not like in Professional mode.


    good luck! & welcome to the millions & millions of people who has what it takes (a DSLR) to be a wedding photographer.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    Quote Originally Posted by eleveninth View Post
    hi TS

    There is a reason why only a handful of wedding photogs can make it.

    If u want to be a good wedding photog u need a good site also. like WIX.com and blogspot. Then people will think u are good.

    and please learn from mnjohar becauuse 'P' mode stands for Professional mode, must be professional if not memory card will be fried. Only after you practice then start to use Manual for weddings, because Manual is the way to go if you want to capture that split second moment without fiddling with the settings not like in Professional mode.


    good luck! & welcome to the millions & millions of people who has what it takes (a DSLR) to be a wedding photographer.
    Thanks for your comment. Yeah, I know I am taking baby steps - we all got to start somewhere right?

  5. #25

  6. #26

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    Quote Originally Posted by eleveninth View Post
    hi TS

    There is a reason why only a handful of wedding photogs can make it.

    If u want to be a good wedding photog u need a good site also. like WIX.com and blogspot. Then people will think u are good.

    and please learn from mnjohar becauuse 'P' mode stands for Professional mode, must be professional if not memory card will be fried. Only after you practice then start to use Manual for weddings, because Manual is the way to go if you want to capture that split second moment without fiddling with the settings not like in Professional mode.


    good luck! & welcome to the millions & millions of people who has what it takes (a DSLR) to be a wedding photographer.
    That's sour

  7. #27

  8. #28

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    Quote Originally Posted by lobsterkia View Post
    That's sour
    haha, there will always be people who encourage you or put you down in life, be it online or real life.

    Nonetheless as TS, I thank all for your opinions.

    Also thanks to those who provided links/info - really helpful.

    Will keep going

  9. #29

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    Good Thread!
    Many advise n lesson to learn from experienced bro.

    i love this line by catchlights

    when photographers are shooting for leisure, usually can shoot better especially they have no stress for what to shoot, no pressure of what to deliver, no rent to pay, no bills to settle, don't need to put food on the table, don't need to buy milk powder, got extra pocket money to buy new lenses.... etc.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    TS, yea keep going. don't let anything put you down.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    Quote Originally Posted by ninja1943 View Post
    Hi all CSers,


    1. Why I am entering photography
    -Main reason is that my wedding last year, we hired a photographer after shortlisting a few. Horrified at the results! yes it is shot with great clarity (probably he used a full frame DSLR) but it is lacking in so many aspects (no life, no feel, group shots -some pple not even looking at the camera). It was so badly done and I thought, even I have never used a DSLR, with a normal camera, I at least will ensure everyone looks at the camera before taking the shot right?
    -I enjoy seeing all the nice shots my cousin took for me during wedding. My cousin started photography and he didnt use very expensive stuff yet able to deliver (hes not being paid, he just took for us as his hobby). This was what inspired me to pick up photography. A hobbyist is able to deliver better than a "pro".
    -I have been "brother" or "best man" for at least 5 weddings and I really enjoyed all of them. I believe I want to be a wedding photographer because I enjoy the festivity and making sure the event is well run and the smiles, the joy, the laughter makes me fill a great sense of acheivement (though it was just being the best man or main organiser)
    People not looking at camera , IMO fault on both parties , your cousin shoot while the paid photographer is also shooting the group photos . Need just one curious pair of eyes to glance at your cousin to achieve the some not looking at the camera feel . However it is also the paid photographer duty to ensure all in the group are looking at the paid photographer when he is taking the photos

    How does being a wedding photographer allows you to make sure the wedding is well run ?
    Maybe you can try being a professional wedding planner to enjoy running a wedding , there could be a market demand for a male wedding planner

  12. #32
    Member Ylesiya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    Quote Originally Posted by lobsterkia View Post
    People not looking at camera , IMO fault on both parties , your cousin shoot while the paid photographer is also shooting the group photos . Need just one curious pair of eyes to glance at your cousin to achieve the some not looking at the camera feel . However it is also the paid photographer duty to ensure all in the group are looking at the paid photographer when he is taking the photos

    How does being a wedding photographer allows you to make sure the wedding is well run ?
    Maybe you can try being a professional wedding planner to enjoy running a wedding , there could be a market demand for a male wedding planner
    +1. On my friend's wedding, the invited photographer had a very tough job as the room where the ceremony was held, was very small. A lot of aunties and uncles with their cameras where standing in a circle around bride and groom, so it was very difficult to take a picture just without someone's camera or body close on the background. Same was during group shots. Just curious whether the photographer has the right to ask the relatives stand aside during ceremony or is it a job of a couple to tell their aunties and uncles in advance? I prefer to discuss these moments in advance but not all relatives are aware of this as well as they can easily forget about it during the actual day.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    Quote Originally Posted by Ylesiya View Post
    +1. On my friend's wedding, the invited photographer had a very tough job as the room where the ceremony was held, was very small. A lot of aunties and uncles with their cameras where standing in a circle around bride and groom, so it was very difficult to take a picture just without someone's camera or body close on the background. Same was during group shots. Just curious whether the photographer has the right to ask the relatives stand aside during ceremony or is it a job of a couple to tell their aunties and uncles in advance? I prefer to discuss these moments in advance but not all relatives are aware of this as well as they can easily forget about it during the actual day.
    If you are in this situation, I normally will ask the people who want to take pictures to go ahead first and once everyone is done, then it is my turn. I don't like to fight with the relos... But after table 3 or 4, normally, you will hear the couple say... "lets just let Hart take the shots"... Of course communicating with the couple in advance is very important.

    I'll wait for my turn... I get paid by the hour... :P

    Regards,

    Hart
    Last edited by Agetan; 23rd March 2012 at 12:26 AM.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    Quote Originally Posted by lobsterkia View Post
    That's sour
    it will only make him work harder to prove ppl like me wrong then.

  15. #35
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eleveninth

    it will only make him work harder to prove ppl like me wrong then.
    Not everyone's so determined bro... Some folks need to hear good things to keep them going

  16. #36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by seezhijie

    Not everyone's so determined bro... Some folks need to hear good things to keep them going
    Then I guess they are not ready to face the reality then. Hearing positive feedback is good, but are they truthful? Some just wants being spoon fed, in the end they lose out as they don't learn anything from their mistakes.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    1a) Not so nice words and its to make you look stupid
    1b) Not so nice words and its to make the commenter look smart
    2) Not so nice words but its the truth and its to help you
    3) Keeping quiet
    4) Nice stuff n compliments and its the truth
    5) Nice stuff n compliments and its all lies

    IMO its a tie between 1 and 5 from people we have to avoid

  18. #38
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entering the world of Photography + Biz

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan View Post
    I'll wait for my turn... I get paid by the hour... :P
    Haha...

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