Making mistakes on the job


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Jul 10, 2004
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#1
just curious. when you guys (pro photogs) first started off...were there times when you guys made mistakes on the job? (you guys do make mistakes right?) like under exposure or photos not being sharp enough?

what happens then? lose a client, learn from your mistakes and move on?

i'm still an nsf by the way, so haven't done any paid shoots yet.. was wondering about this while i was nuahing in the office...
 

Jul 10, 2004
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#2
also, have been reading the thread about the $5 per product issue... are there courses available that sort of touches on how to price yourself reasonably for commercial/ freelance event shoots? apart from being a photog's assistant
 

#3
Yes, I have made mistakes on the job, although not ones having to do with exposure or shaprness. I would say that if sharpness and exposure is stuff an aspiring pro is working on, it's still a little too early to go pro. It's possible to wreck one's reputation even before getting started.

My opinion is that by the time one goes pro, the day to day technical aspect should be secondary with the running of the business, cusotmer relations, etc, taking up your primary concentration.

Hope this helps

just curious. when you guys (pro photogs) first started off...were there times when you guys made mistakes on the job? (you guys do make mistakes right?) like under exposure or photos not being sharp enough?

what happens then? lose a client, learn from your mistakes and move on?

i'm still an nsf by the way, so haven't done any paid shoots yet.. was wondering about this while i was nuahing in the office...
 

Jul 10, 2004
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#4
hmm..i guess...but what if your technical skills are alright when you aren't shooting at assignment? but when you do start on one, you so how botched it? signs that one shouldn't go pro?
 

catchlights

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#5
of course everyone do make mistakes.
and mistakes come in all size and shapes,
you must learn how to admit it, correct it, swallow it and the most important of all, avoid it.

remember, clients hire you is to solve problems, not to create more problems.
 

ellery

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#6
Not being mean here. If you still have technical issues on a basic level as in exposure, sharpness ect then perhaps it is not time to try to go pro yet - its like trying to be an opera (western) singer when you are actualy high chance eliminatee for Spore Idol. As a pro you still have to deal with more critcal issues like style (of photos), composition, creative aspect of photo and the biz issues become a major thing - the basic technicalities should be 2nd nature already.

It is not fun and games running pro. It is not about passion or the lack of - it is about deliverying under pressure, producing quality under fire with litte or no guidelines from client - bringing in picture that make them go wow when you are shooting neck deep in **** of various kinds.

Of course every one does xuck up - but a pro does that sparingly and still have pictures from the job that can be delivered. It is may be 1 to 5 percent or less thing.
 

eikin

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#7
Not being mean here. If you still have technical issues on a basic level as in exposure, sharpness ect then perhaps it is not time to try to go pro yet - its like trying to be an opera (western) singer when you are actualy high chance eliminatee for Spore Idol. As a pro you still have to deal with more critcal issues like style (of photos), composition, creative aspect of photo and the biz issues become a major thing - the basic technicalities should be 2nd nature already.

It is not fun and games running pro. It is not about passion or the lack of - it is about deliverying under pressure, producing quality under fire with litte or no guidelines from client - bringing in picture that make them go wow when you are shooting neck deep in **** of various kinds.

Of course every one does xuck up - but a pro does that sparingly and still have pictures from the job that can be delivered. It is may be 1 to 5 percent or less thing.
can't agree more.
 

ortega

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#8
Not being mean here. If you still have technical issues on a basic level as in exposure, sharpness ect then perhaps it is not time to try to go pro yet - its like trying to be an opera (western) singer when you are actualy high chance eliminatee for Spore Idol. As a pro you still have to deal with more critcal issues like style (of photos), composition, creative aspect of photo and the biz issues become a major thing - the basic technicalities should be 2nd nature already.

It is not fun and games running pro. It is not about passion or the lack of - it is about deliverying under pressure, producing quality under fire with litte or no guidelines from client - bringing in picture that make them go wow when you are shooting neck deep in **** of various kinds.

Of course every one does xuck up - but a pro does that sparingly and still have pictures from the job that can be delivered. It is may be 1 to 5 percent or less thing.
i agree as well
 

STEV

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#9
who doesnt make mistake? Just avoid the same mistake... How does experience came by? Just make sure whatever assignment you take on, you are confident to handle it. If not...:bsmilie:
 

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#10
thanks for your feedback! how then does one gain exposure in order to improve? would starting off as a photographer's assistant help? like when he's covering an event, you go there and shoot as well? not sure how this sounds but that way all the good shots are taken by him and you get the chance to experiment and see how it turns out
 

Clown

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#11
go find a commercial studio and assist there. maybe for 2-3 years to nuture ur technicals and professionalism.
 

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#12
hmm..yeah that sounds like a good idea...still a long way for me to go though..ord next june... btw, above mentioned problems doesn't reflect what i'm experiencing! those question just hit me...he he..so yeah..umm.... if i do approach anyone here for jobs in the future, don't hold it against me! :D
 

#13
Agent Monkey, there are several ways to do it. But please keep in mind, that the advice below already assumes that you can set correct exposure and focus and are essentially trying tp push the limits of style or technicality. As mentioned earlier, if exposure and sharpness is still a worry during a shoot, it's really really not the time to go pro yet. If you insist on shooting anyway, at least learn to bracket exposure and focus.

1. Go out and experiment on your own time and dime. That's what my friends and I used to do while we were in college and I think this system, with a mentor to critique your work after, is probably the best way to get started because it allows you to develop a style of your own, which is really important in marketing yourself. It also shows potential employers that you are a very keen photographer who takes the initiative to develop yourself.

2. Take on easier shoots. Pull it off, and in between takes experiment. This way you can deliver what the client wants and develop your style. If your experiment works, give it to your client instead, that's when you wow them. In a few years, you'll be able to command the shoot and only do it in your style.

3. Assist for someone else, show determination and excellence in the small things and eventually they'll let you take on the whole shoot by yourself. But honestly, based on your question below, there's really nothing stopping you from just turing up at an event and shooting if that's what you are interested in.

Hope this helps

thanks for your feedback! how then does one gain exposure in order to improve? would starting off as a photographer's assistant help? like when he's covering an event, you go there and shoot as well? not sure how this sounds but that way all the good shots are taken by him and you get the chance to experiment and see how it turns out
 

eastwest

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#14
Most pros have horror stories of having the camera set on ISO 1600 or some other silly stupid mistake. It happens to everyone but how you then handle it is the true test of your professionalism. The worst thing that happened to me was dropping the microdrive at the end of a function and losing all the formal portraits taken that night. In this case, I waived my fee, apologised profusely and ate humble pie big time. They've asked me to shoot the event this year so I obviously said the right things. Understanding clients will know that sometimes things happen and it's no-ones fault.
 

#15
it is all right to make mistakes .... even the world's highest paid ministars honest mistakes.

just curious. when you guys (pro photogs) first started off...were there times when you guys made mistakes on the job? (you guys do make mistakes right?) like under exposure or photos not being sharp enough?

what happens then? lose a client, learn from your mistakes and move on?

i'm still an nsf by the way, so haven't done any paid shoots yet.. was wondering about this while i was nuahing in the office...
 

Jul 10, 2004
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#16
hey thanks guys...getting a clearer picture (no pun intended) on the whole situation now..thanks again for the feedback..think i should take out my camera from the dry box and start shooting again..been awhile...
 

snowspeeder

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#17
Every mistake made is a good lesson learnt. Only foolish men let the same mistake repeat itself time after time. Win your clients over with your sincerity; they will appreciate you for your good intentions and the potential of becoming even better in future.
 

Kit

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#18
Every mistake made is a good lesson learnt. Only foolish men let the same mistake repeat itself time after time. Win your clients over with your sincerity; they will appreciate you for your good intentions and the potential of becoming even better in future.
I would love to believe this works out with every client. Unfortunately, sincerity is worth a dime a pound these days. What still matters most is that whether if you can deliver. All it takes is one screw up and you can kiss that account goodbye forever. Most of them can't wait for you to become better in future.
 

#19
Haha, well said Kit. I was just thinking that myself. With several $2-3k/hr models, the lighting crew and equipment at another $2K plus per hour, the sun setting for the day, the DP wanting to go home, the makeup/stylist crew standing around, the clients paying your rates by the hour as well, the Art Director saying they want the imagess yesterday etc, etc. I am sooo sure the clients will be more than happy to stand around while the photographer fumbles with exposure and focusing. ;)

I would love to believe this works out with every client. Unfortunately, sincerity is worth a dime a pound these days. What still matters most is that whether if you can deliver. All it takes is one screw up and you can kiss that account goodbye forever. Most of them can't wait for you to become better in future.
 

snowspeeder

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#20
I guess so. It all depends on which area of photography one is into. When dealing with clients and deadlines (like in commercial type assignments), we only have one chance of getting it right, or the next opportunity will be given to someone else.
 

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