When new photographers start out they think life is going tone great and they are going to make money doing what they love.....Didn't we all....(sigh).
Not to burst your bubble but most photographers struggle to make a living doing what they love! Only a few make it and thats if they have built up a pretty good clientele.
Most photographers won't tell you that they are barely breaking even and finding out that life is a little harder being a photographer than they originally thought.
When I first started out I was getting one to two clients every few months and I couldn't believe it was that hard. I struggle to make connections and network and I realized advertising was crazy expensive. My site visits were 3 a week if that! I had no Idea what I was doing wrong and where I could go right. I wanted to make living doing it but didn't see that happening.
Let me tell you some odd years later I am still hustling but! I am not making a living at it and I think I've done well for my self. One thing is for sure though I can't stop working or I will lose clients! I find that building a network is ever changing and always evolving! New connections and clients are always being made and with the amount of photographers out there and in my community alone it is like pulling teeth to beat the competition! I am always having to stay on top of things in order to have an edge on the competition. I find my working till 10 even 11 o clock at night and I was up at 6! I work more than I ever have but heres the difference I love what I do and I love the people that I do it for....welll.......Most.
Heres what some photographers won't tell you....Your not gonna love every client and wether you like it or not you are in customer service being a photographer. Your reputation is on the line not just with your photos but how you treat people. And HEAR ME WHEN I SAY THERE. ARE. DIVAS. Some clients will try and tell you how to sort through the photos...how to send them and how they want them edited. Ill be the first to tell you don't let them throw a wrench in your work environment otherwise you will just get flustered and take it out on them. Kindly explain to them that your the one they came to for the professional service and you will handle it and get them their photos in a timely manner. If they don't like your edits then thats not your fault! They sought you out for you and your work. If you want to work with the client a little then thats fine to but the point is don't let them try and tell you how to do your job because your the professional and you have to act like it.Also, know the law when it come to their rights and YOURS! There are people out there that will try and take advantage of you and you can't let that happen! You are taking your time and energy to provide a professional service and you don't want the people taking advantage of turning around and taking your photos and having them printed without your permission. Yes you heard me....By law they cannot print your photos with out your permission so you can charge whatever you want for your copyright permission. Your charging people for your your service not the photos. The photos are a whole other ball game so look into it!
Lastly if your new to photography be choosey with the people you work with because not everyone is going to be good for your business. Some may even try and use you to get free photos..Yes, I have had this happen. A client once explained in detail what she wanted...I provided...then she turned around and said she didn't get what she wanted so she was going to leave a bad review and make sure I never got business again. Luckily I had a written contract stating what she wanted and I had proof I provided it. I kindly told her she could try and damage my reputation but I would be forced to take legal action if she did and that I was not refunding her the money. I never hear from her again. Period. You get it? You have to be on top of it to be a photographer it isn't as easy as snapping some pics and giving em to people. Contracts are involved, copyright laws, and many others yes more legal rights for you! Such as Creative commons and attribution laws! Inform your self you'll be happy you did !