I always believe if there is a will, there is a way.
You may read the book about Steve Job's biography.
Thanks a lot guys. You've given me very valuable info and advice. Would appreciate any other tips from anyone. I guess there are people who would wanna try apprenticeship too.
You have to find your audience that have same level of thinking of you so you get to enjoy your work and at the same time, clients get what they want (because that is what they come to you for). As i always say, if the only selling point is your price, you will be in trouble very soon.
After all, customer is king.
I still have 1 more in line, I was scolded right in front of the relatives for not sticking to the contract at the end of the banquet. Couple said there is prints+album, i said I don't remember but will check it out. She is very adamant on it..... "Why is it that now you are saying things that are so different during meetup". The fact is that now after checking emails + receipt which I handled to them clearly stated the deliverables and no prints. I would recommend the print lab to them. But during the meetup, they understand......I am always very careful about going through point by point, and putting it in writing clearly. Like deposit is absolutely non-refundable, some will still ask for refund. Confusing? Yes I thought so too.
We usually would know the clients need after a few calls and 30 min meetup, maybe not all points and its not foolproof, but i guess some still slip through. (some are so busy that you can't even get them and talk for long).
I'll see how it goes, probably they will still be saying "prints included". Bleah...
BTW, I did not bend backwards to get the assignment, actually at 488 2hrs and further extension of 1hr on-the-spot at $138, it's rather high....but I needed to charge that coz I took annual leave. But I think they were thinking I am like the best in Singapore during the aftermath. "I really think you could have done better". I was like What The.....then go find Joho or something man.
It was actually a recommendation from another couple who likes my work. This brings up another point, most times recommendations work but I have been thinking if they could backfire. The working style may work for a certain group of clients but they may be seemed as tasteless by another group. But recommending couple can sometimes praise you as if you are nothing but the best, and sometimes the conditions on the ground are just plain conducive for getting great pics (eg great bros/sis), little effort needed etc. Other clients have different other ideas in mind, or the families <-> relatives just can't jive etc. I am sure most of us do not over promise, but you can't help it if others already did the talking for you.
Last edited by 2100; 8th July 2011 at 08:51 AM.
That's very true 2100. I was hesitant about doing a shoot for a friend of a friend. (engagement party). My friend sais that his friend liked my shots. But as mentioned earlier, I'm a street / portrait guy. And he requested me to do an outdoor night shoot. In JB!!! I said I couldn't but he said he was desperate. So I did the shoot for a very small fee. And the shoot wasn't that good cos I didn't have a 2nd shooter (who would come with me to JB for such low price) and my eqpt wasn't good enuf. (couldn't handle the lack of light).
So i do agree that our style does not suit everyone. I guess we have to be very clear on that with potential clients. and risk losing business at the same time. Losing business is better than losing reputation, i think.
Agetan, I thought replying here is more apt.....coz if i reply in the other thread regarding this topic here, it would crash the other guys's thread. haha....
Hey Agetan bro, no worries pls do not apologies....we all learn from each other. LOL!
I have been doing some calculations + thinking this afternoon. Hmm.....if I take away all those couples whom I have been "courting" just after the first enquiry....yes there are a few who actually appreciate my work, so much so that some even say after going through the portfolio once they would tell you "I know you are the photographer whom I have been looking for". Of course not quoting a high price helps......guess some just cannot afford to pay 3k for a photographer w/o album as it does not make financial sense. (eg some saving for HDB which will come in say 1 years time, or planning for kids).
Going through my past 1 year calendar, unfortunately those who come across and like my work amount to less than 20-30% at best. Most are just chin chai - work is decent ok liao, most important is reliability. I guess I am the avg joe kind of guy - no surprises and very easy to work with, sure can deliver with so much backup equipment, just a couple of WOW pictures would be nice. Some thing like your Honda Civic - not too bad.
So I need to raise pricings by 3X. And so that cuts into the number of jobs, and that's assuming the remianing 30% would stay on to book. 1.2k and appreciate very much....like not very the same as 3.6k and appreciate very much leh. So what's left is to improve.
Acrually after the Japanese tsunami and after my father full recovered from a hospital stay due to a seemingly devstating disease, i have been relaxing a bit on trying to earn more money. So I guess I'll just let nature run its course and see what I can do.....
Another one which Agetan mentioned before not to take is One Marina fifteen cruises. May seem novel, atas and high-class and fun....but seesh I went out during Dec and remember to take sea sick pills. You don't enjoy it at all.
Last edited by 2100; 8th July 2011 at 10:29 PM.
So in short...
What I can say is charge enough to enjoy your work.
If there is job that you don't enjoy, just charge way beyond your normal charge and at least it pays well and selling your soul from time to time isn't that bad if the money is good. Just don't do it too often.
Being above the average charge, it will really screen clients and only those who are really interested with your service will book you.
It makes life a lot easier and you will always perform the best at your work as you love to do it.
Good to see people who have the intentions of moving on to the next level.
I was still a hobbyist for last 1.5 years, and decided to move on after much consideration. Half a year ago, I stepped into the world of merging photography and business together. Tasted and got the experience and it's really not easy.
Let me share my experiences with you, have met many different kinds of clients. Some like to bargain and negotiate for your rates, some like to be late for the photoshoot, some especially from the low end - average have extremely high expectations compared to those high end - rich young kids. Not only that, but collecting the payment was a pain, since my condition was, 50% first, 50% after the shoot but now I collect 100% first.
Merging business and photography together, it's not about you yourself, but also meeting client's expectations, and make sure clients are satisfied with your work. Well, I personally feel that marketing yourself is very important, word of mouth, friends/relatives related, etc comes first.
Before giving your rates to people, do remember to think of your cost first, there are some who charge at an extremely low price and spoil the market, and in fact I feel that they are killing themselves. Staying firm at prices who rather increase the level of confidence from your clients.
I do most of my assignments with a team, a second photographer and a makeup artist, I feel that it is very important to have a 2nd PG, because that will save you lots of time, and a makeup artist especially when you are shooting a female in your assignments. Not all female models are very out-going and as a guy, I've seen a handful of ladies who are shy and needed me or my MUA to engage in a short conversation in order to meet clients' expectations.
Learning about lightings, I feel that it doesn't really requires lots of teaching. Photography is part of art, there isn't any right or wrong, but mostly through from your experiences. Buying fashion magazines and take a look at the high end photographers out there, and redefine it, re-engineer it. Buying strobes is pretty un-handy unless you are setting up your own studio, else carrying strobes to outdoor location, power source is a big problem, next is the weight, unless you drive but I feel that speedlite flashes and reflectors are much practical for outdoor shoots.
Well, getting paid, for me, makes me put in 200% effort instead of 100% to clients'. Previously when I was a hobbyist, I tend to shoot without much thinking, compose, etc.. But after assignments, and assignments, I tend to source for new and unique perspectives, although there is still level of frustrations when meeting different genres of clients.
Also, do specify your interest in portraiture, there are weddings, fashion, family, etc.. Doing your favorite things is the most important thing. Specify yourself into a stand-alone genres would rather allows you to spend more time into it, putting yourself deeper into it.
Before moving on, think and consider not twice but thrice, to get a 9am to 5pm job and relax and enjoy photography over the weekends, or an inflexible job that requires much of your time, and in-regular meals, etc. Also consider about other factors too.
I hope my sharing of experience would be in good use for you, and everyone !
Last edited by Odyssey-Boy; 9th July 2011 at 11:36 PM.
Think fast, aim for the best !
Maybe it poses A challenge. And that's what attracts us sometimes.. LolOriginally Posted by 2100
Wow.. Very true. Never Thoth of that. Thanks Hart.Originally Posted by Agetan
That was very useful. Thanks a lot.Originally Posted by Odyssey-Boy
As with all business, what is your business plan? Have you conducted a market survey? Is portraiture or journalistic photography in demand or over-saturated (too many supply and not enough demand)? And events photography still have some money-making spaces? If making money is not your priority, then keep your job and take on courses and meet people and shoot more.
Thanks shelomoh. Money is not my priority in this case. Just a need to learn. Lol.Originally Posted by shelomoh